Labour MP, Karen Buck, who represents Westminster North, is reintroducing the Bill called the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill; if passed it would resurrect a law dating back to 1885.
Tenants already have the right to a home that is fit for human habitation, but only if the rent is less than £52 per year (or £80 in London) – figures set back in 1957.
Under much more recent legislation, the Housing Act of 2004, landlords can be forced to make repairs by local councils, but the authorities tend to act only on tenants’ complaints, and have few resources to pro-actively inspect private rental accommodation.
Karen Buck first introduced the Bill in 2015, when it was talked out. The proposals were then presented as an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill in 2016. On that occasion, 309 Conservative MPs voted against forcing rented homes to be made fit for human habitation. No Labour, Liberal Democrat or SMP MPs voted against it.
Karen said at the time that she wanted legislation to counter ‘a growth in the number of landlords who try to cut corners and get away with letting out sub-standard accommodation.’
The Ethical Landlords Association applauds Karen Buck’s persistence in seeking to obtain this basic standard, and fully support her actions. Our members at Silver and Gold Levels commit to the ‘Decent Homes Standard’.