Housing Act 2004

Posted by Nick Niesen on November 8th, 2010

·The Housing Act 2004 received Royal assent on the 18th November 2004. It introduces wide new powers for dealing with poor conditions in the private rented sector. Most of the new powers in the Housing Act 2004 will be brought into force by Ministerial orders expected during 2005 and 2006. The main provisions of the Act are:

·The Health and Housing Safety ratings System (HHSRS) for assessing fitness- this will replace the housing fitness regime described in the Housing Act 1985. It will incorporate external health & safety risks such as noise pollution, fire hazards and radon.

·Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation
The purpose of licensing is to:
-- raise standards of management by landlords /agents
_ provide Local Housing Authorities with adequate measures to
ensure licensing works
_ protection for vunerable tenants
_ high risk HMOs are identified so HHSRS can target worse cases..

·Selective licensing of all private rented homes in areas of low demand (for persistent anti-social behaviour)- in such cases, Councils will be able to require private landlords to apply for licences that would normally last for 5 years.

·Home Information Packs (including Home Condition Report) ? will require anyone marketing a home to provide key information up-front at the start of selling a property. The packs will come into force from January 2007, following a six-month ?dry-run?.

·The tenancy deposit scheme- where private landlords, or their agents, require tenancy deposits then a Government sponsored scheme will safeguard those deposits. This is likely to apply from 2006.

·Security of tenure for mobile home residents - strengthens rights of residents of mobile home parks, whilst ensuring the industry?s regulatory framework helps meet the growing need for quality affordable housing.

·Empty Homes ? will allow Local Authorities to serve empty property management orders on empty properties. This will allow Local Authorities to temporarily take over the homes, repair them and rent them out to households in housing need. Private landlords will be entitled to keep the rental income after the Local Authority deducts the cost of repair.

·Gypsies and Travellers ? requires Local Authorities to assess accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers in their area, and to produce a strategy detailing how their needs will be met.

·Improvements in energy efficiency ? reinforces Government commitment to improving energy efficiency in residential accommodation.

·For more information check out the ODPM website at www.odpm.gov.uk

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
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