Unscrupulous landlords are facing a new crackdown after the government announced a major independent review of the rental market in England.
The move follows major growth in rented accommodation – which has increased by almost a third in the past six years – and concerns that both tenants and landlords don’t know enough about their rights.
There are currently almost 2.6 million homes being rented in England from over half a million private landlords.
A report by the charity Citizens Advice last year found one in five tenants was dissatisfied with the quality of repairs carried out by their landlord and feared retaliation if they complained to authorities.
But landlords can also face problems – with anti-social behaviour from tenants, and from those who fail to pay their rent.
The review will look at how the increasing number of buy-to-let properties and student tenants have changed the face of the private rented sector.
Housing Minister Yvette Cooper said: ‘Most of us have rented a flat or house at some stage in our lives and the private rented sector is, at its best, a vital provider of good housing. But too few people are aware of their rights and responsibilities, either as tenants or landlords.
‘We have seen a big increase in the private rented sector and particularly in buy to let. It is important we review the impact of this.’