A clampdown on landlords who allow their rental property to decline into a poor condition is welcome news.

It is a sad fact that there are still too many rogue landlords who are keen to pick up their regular rents while failing to keep their property in a satisfactory state of repair.

It can be difficult for the tenant who may be afraid to raise issues with their landlord or have complaints completely ignored.

But a new Government Bill gives more power to the tenant by allowing them to take legal action against their landlord if their rental property is in a poor condition.

Of course, the vast majority of landlords and letting agents make sure their properties are in a good state of repair and respond quickly when problems arise. But this legislation will give tenants the power to get things sorted if their requests are falling on deaf ears.

Its passing into law means social and private sector landlords will have to ensure the condition of their property is fit to live in at the start of the tenancy and throughout the life of the occupancy.

If the landlord fails to meet this criteria the new Bill allows the tenant to take legal action for breach of contract.

This Bill, along with other measure being put in place, should tighten up the legal situation concerning problems with people living in poor conditions and strengthens the rights of the tenant in what can often be distressing and unhealthy situations.

The Government has already taken action to raise the quality of living conditions for tenants by giving local authorities across the country a range of powers to tackle rogue landlords.

From April a new database of these landlords and property agents convicted of certain offences will be introduced as an aid to clamping down on the problem. There will also be an option of banning orders for the more serious offenders.

People who have issues with their living conditions should no longer have to suffer in silence or be afraid to raise issues with their landlord. If complaints are raised and go unheeded tenants now have the capability of taking matters to a higher level.

Erica

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