Housing minister Kris Hopkins has published a blueprint for good landlords giving private tenants information about their rights and what to expect from a rented home.
The guide was announced at the same time as government plans to make letting agents tell tenants full details of any fees they may have to pay to secure a private rented home.
Landlords who manage their own properties will also have to publish any costs on top of the rent on their web sites, in offices and on marketing materials.
Failure to obey the new rules could mean a hefty fine.
The Help to Rent guide aims to give tenants clear information about the process of privately renting home, including their rights as tenants and what happens to deposits and if they fall into rent arrears.
Hopkins hopes the new measures to publicise fees and tenant rights will force the few landlords and letting agents acting outside the law to follow the rules without the need for introducing new laws to register and regulate landlords and agents.
In addition, the courts will be given powers to order landlords who fail to maintain their properties to pay unlimited fines.
The guide will help can be downloaded or viewed smartphones and tablets and includes:
- Advice about tenancy deposit schemes, bills and tenancy agreements
- A checklist of paperwork the landlord must give to tenants
- Details of repairs the landlord must make and the right of a landlord to enter a rented home
- How to end tenancies and return deposits
Hopkins said: “This government is turning up the heat on the small minority of rogue landlords that are not playing by the rules and giving tenants a rough deal.”
“The new guide will give tenants the knowledge they need at their fingertips and help raise the game of landlords who may not know what is expected of them.”
“We are doing all of this without the need for excessive state regulation that would destroy investment in new housing, push up prices and make it far harder for people to find a flat or house to rent.”