I encourage renters to use Labour Act to tackle bad housing conditions. Cllr Peter Lamb
Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Crawley PETER LAMB has welcomed new Labour-sponsored legislation that will allow private tenants to take landlords to court if they are exposed to dangerous housing conditions such as severe mould, exposed wires or severe fire risks.
Labour MP Karen Buck’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act will mean that landlords will have to ensure that their properties are habitable and free from hazards at the start of and throughout the tenancy.
While the measures in this Act were rejected as ‘unnecessary’ by the Conservative Government in 2016, with Henry Smith MP voting against it, pressure from Labour led to the Government caving in last year and accepting the need for the Act.
Across the country 700,000 private rented homes contain hazard that presents a severe risk to tenants’ health; from exposure to naked wires and fire hazards to excessive mould and damp. Cold, damp and dangerous housing conditions are estimated to cost the NHS a huge £2.5bn a year.
Big cuts to local authority funding have meant that local councils, who are currently responsible for preventing the occurrence of category one hazards in rental homes, don’t have the resources to properly enforce rules around housing standards.
From March 20th private tenants signing new and renewed tenancy agreements of less than seven years will have the agency to tackle problems independently of local authorities and will be able to sue landlords who fail to keep properties up to habitable standards.
Commenting on the new legislation, Crawley Borough Council Leader and parliamentary candidate PETER LAMB said:
“The complete failure by the Conservative Government to provide the decent and affordable homes we need in Crawley means that far too many renters in our area live in unacceptable and dangerous conditions.
“This long-awaited Labour legislation provides a critical safety net against the truly shocking conditions that some private renters are forced to put up with.
“I’d urge anyone who feels their accommodation is unsafe or unhealthy to use these new powers to get the accommodation that everyone in one of the richest countries in the world should consider standard.“
Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister Melanie Onn MP said:
“This is a hard fought Labour win that has the potential to transform housing standards for renters across the country. The perfect storm of high rents, low standards and minimal rights means that renters are getting a raw deal under the Tories. This is just a taste of Labour’s new deal for private renters; in Government we’d give tenants the security of longer tenancies with rent rises capped, end the scourge of no fault evictions and give councils the support they need to stop unscrupulous landlords once and for all.”