No more shoddy service from private landlords; The UK government is now taking measures to strengthen control on the country’s private rented housing market, and has come up with a set of proposals intended to deliver a much simpler framework that both landlords and tenants can understand.

Under the proposals, set out by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the government plans to oblige letting and property management agents to become members of a new redress scheme. This will facilitate the investigation of complaints about their service filed by customers and could also require agents to pay tenants compensation in cases where they are not properly treated.

The proposals, issued in response to a report from the Communities and Local Government Select Committee into the private rented sector, also foresees setting a code of practice that will determine the standards that agents will be obliged to meet in their work. The package also includes the creation of a Tenants’ Charter, which will feature information about tenants’ rights and show in which cases they can take action (such as instances of hidden fees) and where to seek help.

The set of proposals also stipulates the introduction of a model tenancy agreement that will now allow landlords to offer tenancies of three years or more.

Communities Secretary Erick Pickles commented that the proposed legislation is to make sure that residents of rented property get better value for money and ensure that their needs are complied with. The measures will also help tenants understand how to demand tenancy for longer periods in a bid to save costs, he said, as quoted by the Local Government website.

These clear guidelines can surely do no harm. What are your thoughts on the matter? Would these new regulations help boost your confidence and help you speak up if you felt you were being wrongly treated by your landlord?

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