MP accuses Commons of seeking to impose unnecessary legislation on landlords

A Private Member’s Bill calling for tenants to be able to sue landlords if the accommodation is not fit for human habitation is to return to the Commons in the New Year.

Labour MP Karen Buck moved the second reading of her Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill on Friday.

The Bill seeks to lift rent caps above which tenants do not enjoy the legal right to live in a fit home.

The current law gives tenants that right only if they pay annual rent of £52 or £80 in London.

Buck told MPs: “If any hon Members can find a property where the annual rent is less than £80, I am sure that millions of people across the country would be delighted to know where it is.”

She went on: “Why is a change in the law necessary after all this time? Quite simply, renting is on the rise, dramatically so, especially in the private rented sector.

“As I have said, many landlords maintain their properties well and fulfil their obligations, yet the fact remains that standards in the private rented sector are poorer than those in owner-occupation.”

Tory MP Philip Davies, himself a landlord, accused MPs of wanting to “impose on landlords as though they had nothing to do but wade through legislation”.

He added: “It is unnecessary for the House to keep passing legislation that affects landlords because there is already lots of legislation that makes it perfectly clear that homes should be fit for human habitation. When this House adds more and more regulations, it does not achieve anything for tenants because there are already rules and regulations in place.

“All it does is pass on a huge burden to landlords who have to work out whether they are complying with the law today compared with what it was yesterday.”

The debate was adjourned, but will be resumed on January 29.


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  1. livingproperty

    Not many people will like this view, but being a landlord and having properties is the same as owning a business. You need to comply with the law or risk complaints and fines.

    As a landlord, if you don’t know the legals of renting out your property, or what condition the property should be in, you shouldn’t be a landlord. Most of it just boils down to common sense and if you wouldn’t live there, don’t expect a tenant to.

    If you want to be in the property game, legislation is part of it. Agents have to wade through it daily. It’s not hard for a landlord to do a little bit of reading or call someone to check something.

    1. Will

      Sorry but I think you are wrong that people will not like your comment. Most landlords would, in my opinion,  agree with your comments. What raises anger is the constant and unrelenting “Landlord Bashing” that is happening to deflect the gross incompetence of Government.  The old theory of attack is the best form of defence is what is happening. Government are so dam incompetent they  are Landlord Bashing to deflect attention. Councils, such as rogue council Croydon, are opportunistic rogues on a fund raising trip due to poor legislation.  The powers to deal with criminal landlords have been in place for donkeys years.  The Government are the architects of the criminal landlord by allowing the  supply and demand balance to swing to far towards demand due to the massive increase in population resulting, in part from economic migration.  Even during the  1980s when renting was almost impossible you did not have “Beds in Sheds”.   My thought is most decent landlords which is probably 90%+ would agree with you.


      1. Woodentop

        The need for more legislation really says they want to control. There is no need for additional legislation, as the story said we have it covered already. There are more important things MP’s should be doing. As for treating landlords as a business, couldn’t agree more but I know more than a few object to this. Good landlords recognise their responsibilities but we have far to many amateur landlords who object to spending any amount of THEIR profit.

  2. Will

    Karen Buck is right in so far as renting is increasing in the private rented sector because her and her type who run the Government are not fulfilling their duty to provide social housing. Indeed their best effort is selling it off at a discount. That discount being paid for by every member of the public that pays their taxes. More to the point  tenants can take legal action against their landlords if they have a case to do it.

  3. Woodentop

    In a free and democratic society   ….. we have choice? But more and more it appears individual MP’s will decide on what is democracy.



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