Some constituents have contacted me via a Shelter campaign postcard to ask that I support the Fitness for Human Habitation Private Member’s Bill, which had its Second Reading on the floor of the Commons on 19th January 2018.
I was not able to be in the Chamber to vote on it, as I was holding a surgery in my constituency to assist local people. However, the Bill does have my firm support and that of the Government, who have been working hard in cross-party cooperation alongside the Bill’s sponsor, Karen Buck MP, to get it to a point where it delivers the best results for renters across the country.
As I am sure many already know, The Bill will require all landlords, both in the social and private sector, to ensure that their property is fit for human habitation, both at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout. Where a landlord fails to do so, the tenant has the right to take legal action in the courts for breach of contract.
I welcome that this Bill will build on the Government’s strong record of introducing measures to crack down on those landlords who rent out unsafe accommodation, including granting local authorities the power to fine failing landlords for up to £30,000.
I have enclosed a letter below, which I received from the Secretary of State, which I think is useful in understanding the Government’s position and what it has already done to increase the standard of rental accommodation.