The government has released new guidelines for tenants and landlords in the private rental sector
By Anna Bibby, 07 May 2019
As the Private Rented Sector (PRS) continues to flourish, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has created a document that gives renters and landlords guidelines on their rights and responsibilities.
The PRS has seen many legislative changes in recent months, namely the Tenant Fee Ban and the ban on Section 21. In light of these changes, the government produced the ‘Landlord and tenant responsibilities in the private rental sector’ guide to set and maintain a high standard of private rental housing.
In the introduction, the minister for housing and homelessness, Heather Wheeler, states that she is committed to making sure that all renters can have a ‘safe, secure, warm and dry place to call home’ and that both tenants and landlords are well informed on what their rights and responsibilities are.
The PRS now accounts for 4.5 million homes in the UK and more tenants than ever are seeing renting as a permanent living solution, whether it’s because they are unable to fund their own property or it simply suits their lifestyle. It’s essential that tenants are clear on what their responsibilities are when it comes to renting, as it ensures that they maintain a good relationship with their landlord.
The document is mostly targeted at those on Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST), which is the most common type of tenancy in the UK. It gives current and prospective guidance on how to look for a home, what their rights and obligations are as a tenant and what to do when any problems arise.
For landlords, the document outlines how they should prepare their property for a tenancy, their rights and legal obligations throughout the tenancy and how to go about legally evicting a tenant.
One of the main purposes of this document is to eliminate any rogue landlords and problem tenants. Many tenancies run smoothly with both the tenants and landlords acting with the best intentions, but there are still many rogue landlords and tenants who are not upholding their side of the tenancy. On many occasions, neither parties are properly informed on what their rights and responsibilities are.
According to a survey from January of this year by the TDS Charitable Foundation, the results demonstrated that although tenants had a good understanding of their rights and responsibilities, landlords were less clued up. These were mostly ‘accidental’ landlords, who let their properties on a one-off basis for extra income.
A good relationship between tenant and landlord is essential to make a tenancy work, especially for the tenant. If these guidelines are successful in making both landlords and tenants aware of their rights, then it will make it easier to identify and clamp down on those who are not acting lawfully.
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