Thank you for contacting me about support for private renters.
I appreciate the difficulties many renters face in dealing with landlords and letting agents, and I would like to assure you that action is being taken to help households in the private rented sector by protecting them from rogue landlords, banning unfair fees, and ensuring they have access to longer-term tenancies.
During this difficult time, I welcome the introduction of a five-month moratorium on evictions and the suspension of housing possession proceedings in the courts, which has provided security for millions of people.
While rogue landlords account for a minority of private rented sector proprietors, I welcome action to put rogue landlords on notice. In 2018, a national database of rogue landlords was brought in, with landlords convicted of a range of criminal offences to be included so that councils can keep a closer eye on those with a poor track record.
Furthermore, landlords convicted of offences under the Government’s new rules may also be given banning orders preventing them from leasing accommodation for a period of time, ranging from 12 months to life. In addition, since 2019 more than £6 million in grant funding has been awarded to local authorities to boost their enforcement work in tackling rogue landlords.
I am also glad that the Tenant Fees Act reduces costs at the outset for tenants and improves transparency in the private rented sector. The Act abolishes letting agent fees for renters, caps tenancy deposits at five weeks’ rent, and saves tenants between £25 and £70 per year.
The Government has also taken steps to improve private renters’ access to longer-term, family-friendly tenancies, publishing a Model Tenancy Agreement which landlords and tenants can use as the basis for longer tenancies.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP