The Conservative Party has pledged to give tenants greater rights as part of a regulatory shake-up of the private rented sector.
The communities secretary Sajid Javid used his speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester last Sunday to announce that all landlords will have to become members of an ombudsman redress scheme in a bid to improve the dispute resolution system for renters.
He also proposed that legislation be introduced to ensure all letting agents are registered, while landlords will be offered incentives to provide long-term tenancies of at least 12 months in order to offer tenants greater security.
David Cox, the CEO of ARLA Propertymark (formally Association of Residential Letting Agents), commented: “After 20 years of our campaigning falling on deaf ears, we’re very pleased the government has taken the decision to regulate the private rented sector.
“This will be the single greatest step forward in a generation, in terms of consumer protection for private tenants, and will do more to clean up the image of the industry than the hundreds of smaller laws and pieces of legislation introduced over the last 20 years.
“However, regulation can take different forms and we need to see the detail of proposal to be confident that it will be effective for tenants and landlords.”
Javid’s proposal to also consult on the introduction of a housing court to give tenants access to faster, more effective justice if they are mistreated or standards are not met, has also been welcomed – by landlords.