Labour and Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Luke Pollard MP today backed the introduction of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill. The Bill will help to improve property conditions for renters in both social housing and the private rental sector.
There are in total 1 million private and social tenancies that have Category 1 hazards, including homes that have unsafe electrics, vermin infestations, or aren’t fire safe, affecting the lives of the 2.5 to 3 million people living them, many of which are children. A Category 1 hazard is a hazard that poses as a serious and immediate risk to a person's health and safety
Luke Pollard MP said:
“I have long called for an improvement in Plymouth’s tenancy protections and housing standards and welcome the introduction of the Homes Bill as an important way of achieving this aim in Plymouth and the whole of the country.”
“Most landlords do a good job but there are still too many poor quality and unsafe homes in Plymouth. I want to see all homes in Plymouth being fit for human habitation. Everyone in our city should live in a safe, warm and accessible home.”
“It is a burning injustice that some rip-off landlords get away with taking advantage of their tenants who are left in dangerous, precarious living environments, too scared to complain for fear of being booted out in the night. This isn’t right. We are in 2018 not 1818 and if you are a landlord, having a home fit for human habitation must be a bare minimum for tenants that this Bill seeks to empower.”
“I’m also pleased that having voted against this measure twice before the Government is now supporting this measure. As the only Plymouth MP in the debate I was pleased to back this bill on behalf of people in Plymouth who need better quality homes.”
The Bill would revive an already existing clause in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 that requires all rented homes to be ‘fit for human habitation’ at the beginning and throughout a tenancy.
The Bill would provide social tenants with a tool to compel the local authority to carry out repairs. This would rectify the current issue of social tenants currently having no effective means of redress over poor conditions. It would also give tenants the right to take their landlord to court where their property is not fit for human habitation. Tenants would also be able to apply directly to the court for an injunction to compel a landlord to carry out works or compensation for a landlords failure to keep the property in good repair.
(Photo from Shelter)