Tenants will have the right to take their landlords to court if they fail to provide a good standard of housing.
A new law will let renters prosecute property owners for breach of contract if they fail to maintain rental homes in a good condition.
The measure has been put forward by Labour MP Karen Buck, who has drafted a private member’s bill on Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability of Housing Standards).
She has won the backing of Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, which means her bill is likely to become law during this session of Parliament.
The bill will help tenants act against bad landlords if they don’t ensure their property is fit for human habitation throughout a tenancy.
Javid said: “Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live. Councils already have wide-ranging powers to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe and substandard accommodation.
“However, public safety is paramount, and I am determined to do everything possible to protect tenants. That is why government will support new legislation that requires all landlords to ensure properties are safe and give tenants the right to take legal action if landlords fail in their duties.”
Penalties for failing to maintain safe housing could be fines of as much as £30,000 and banning orders to stop convicted landlords from renting out homes.
The new bill will protect tenants in private properties and social housing.
A second reading in the House of Commons is due on January 19.
“Delighted to confirm that the government will be supporting my private member’s bill to strengthen tenants’ rights and ensure homes are fit for human habitation. Now let’s make it law,” Buck has tweeted.