Proposals for property inspections for rented homes form part of new housing plans announced by the Liberal Democrats.
The party detailed plans in a new policy paper – A Fair Share for All – released ahead of its party conference in Bournemouth next week.
In addition to inspections and a new regulator for landlords with portfolios of 25 homes or more, it proposes:
- Mandatory three year tenancies
- Scrapping of Section 21
- New help-to-rent scheme for under 30s
- Unfreezing of LHA rates
- Greater use of direct payments for landlords housing benefits tenants
The document reads: “An increasing number of people are being driven into the private rental sector – we must act to reform that sector to improve the situation for people now, while new houses are being developed.
“We would introduce a new regulator for all private renters and require all private landlords with more than 25 homes to register with the new regulator.
“The regulator would have the power to subject landlords to cyclical regulator inspections and to inspect properties on shorter notice.
“We would also strengthen private renters’ power by introducing longer-term tenancies of three years or more with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in, and scrap no-fault evictions so that private renters can confidently complain about their living standards without fear of being evicted as a consequence.
“In addition to these measures to make private renting more secure, we would also take measures to make it more accessible.
“We would help young people into the rental market by establishing a new Help to Rent scheme to provide government-backed tenancy deposit loans for all first-time renters under 30.
“And, we would unfreeze local housing allowance so that benefits are more closely aligned with the local rates of rent in an area, with the intention of moving towards a system in which it covers the bottom 30th percentile of the local rental market through a balance of new social housing and increased housing benefits where necessary in the short term.
“We also support the greater use of direct payments of housing costs to landlords to further reassure those letting their properties to benefit claimants.”
The Liberal Democrat conference is being held at the Bournemouth International Centre from September 14-17.