Communities Secretary announces new measures to protect tenants

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Private-sector tenants' rights will be strengthened under new measures outlined by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.

Mr Javid announced plans to regulate letting agents, insist landlords are part of a redress scheme and proposed a specialist housing court so tenants have "somewhere to go" if they are mistreated.

He told delegates at the Tory party conference in Manchester that renters, like homeowners, "should be able to feel secure in their own home", and that growth in the private rented sector meant the Government needed to "go further and faster".

"We will take steps to protect renters against poor practice," Mr Javid said.

"First, we will require all letting agents to be regulated, so that they meet strict minimum standards.

"Second, we will make it compulsory for all landlords to be covered by a redress scheme, with an ombudsman, so that tenants have quick and easy resolution to disputes.

"And third, we will consult with the judiciary on a new, specialist, housing court, so that we can get faster, more effective justice.

"This will mean that every tenant has the security of knowing that if they're mistreated, or reasonable standards aren't met, that they'll have somewhere to go - somewhere with the power to put it right."

He also announced that the Government would soon publish legislation banning letting agents' fees, and said it would be "taking further steps to give tenants more security of tenure in their homes".

The new incentives will be unveiled in the November Budget to ensure landlords offer tenancies of at least 12 months, Mr Javid said.

Private renting currently accounts for a fifth of all homes, covering 4.5 million households.

Following the speech, Mr Javid, who was sweating profusely on stage, tweeted a picture of himself with a white towel around his neck, captioned: "Just finished my #CPC17 speech #NoSweat."