Laura Sharman 02 October 2017

Javid sets out measures to strengthen tenants' rights

Young people being priced out of the housing market is the ‘biggest barrier to social progress in our country today’, communities secretary Sajid Javid has warned.

In his speech to the Conservative conference, Mr Javid said the Government had to accept the ‘hard fact’ many people could not afford to buy their own home.

He said: 'The opportunity my generation took for granted now seems lost to many. This is a national outrage and the biggest barrier to social progress in our country today.

'It’s no wonder that we see so many young people angry, feeling left behind. This is a clear injustice at the very heart of our society. But the problem is not that we have a market. The problem is that we have a market that is broken.'

He set out a number of measures to improve the sector and protect renters from poor practice.

This includes requiring all landlord to be covered by a redress scheme, regulating all letting agents to meet strict minimum requirements, and creating new incentives for landlords to offer tenancies for at least 12 months.

The Government will also be consulting with the judiciary to develop a new specialist housing court to provide ‘faster and more effective’ justice for tenants if they are mistreated.

However, housing charity warned that 12 month tenancies would not provide enough stability for tenants.

Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter, said: 'While we welcome the fact that Sajid Javid has recognised the problem of instability for families who rent privately, we're sorely disappointed that he is talking about encouraging 12 month tenancies when half of all tenancies are already a year or more.

'For the millions of families moved from pillar to post at the whim of a landlord, 5 year contracts are the only way to ensure a stable future for those who need it most.'

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