MP’s reject legislation to force landlords to ensure rented accommodation are ‘fit for human habitation’
On Tuesday night, MP’s voted to reject a proposal that would require landlords to make their properties “fit for human habitation” as part of an amendment to the new Housing and Planning Bill.
Conservative MPs voted against the labour proposed legislation by 312 votes to 219, a majority of 93.
Teresa Pearce, the shadow housing minister proposed the amendment, said: “The majority of landlords let property which is and remains in a decent standard. Many landlords go out of their way to ensure that even the slightest safety hazard is sorted quickly and efficiently, so it is even more distressing when we see reports of homes which are frankly unfit for human habitation being let, often at obscene prices. Where else in modern day life could someone get away with this? It’s a consumer issue. If I purchased a mobile phone or a computer that didn’t work, didn’t do what it said it would or was unsafe I would take it back and get a refund.”
However Conservative MPs claimed the new law would result in “unnecessary regulation”.
Communities Minister Marcus Jones commented that the Government believed homes should be fit for human habitation but did not want to pass the new law that would explicitly require it as the proposed fines of up to £30,000 would raise rents.
“Of course we believe that all homes should be of a decent standard and all tenants should have a safe place to live regardless of tenure, but local authorities already have strong and effective powers to deal with poor quality and safe accommodation and we expect them to use them,”
The Fitness for Human Habitation Bill is an updated version of a law which was introduced in the 19th century requiring homes under a certain rent limit to be “fit for human habitation”. However this rent limit has not been updated since 1957 and currently applies to all properties with an annual rent of below £80 in London and £52 elsewhere.
The weekly average weekly rent in London is currently £362.
However the media being what it is, instead of focusing on the fact that this was just MORE legislation aimed at the landlord and PRS, the headlines this morning are that ‘72 of the MP’s voting against the legislation are landlords themselves’ and writing from the angle that it was only rejected because MP’s are worried about lining their own pockets…..
What do you think?