MP behind Bill that will let tenants sue landlords invites horror stories from renters on Facebook

The MP behind a Private Members Bill now being supported by the Government that could pave the way for legislation that lets tenants sue their landlords is to hold a live Facebook discussion this week, which invites horror stories about poor housing.

The invitation comes ahead of a second reading of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill, due to be discussed in Parliament on Friday this week.

Buck has set up a Facebook page called “Tell us your story of being a tenant”.

On it, she asks: “Have you had experience of living in a rented property with damp & mould, excessive cold, fire risks or overcrowding? Do you want to see the quality of all rented accommodation in the UK improved and standardised?”

“Comment with your views and stories and Karen will be joining the discussion live on Thursday, January 18, 1 – 2pm.”

Participants will have to use their names and be prepared for it to be mentioned in the Commons debate.

Buck has tried to introduce her Private Members Bill, which seeks to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation, several times before without success.

But after Secretary of State for Housing Sajid Javid announced at the weekend that the Government would be supporting it, there is now a better chance of it passing into law.

At least 100 MPs will need to show up to the second reading on Friday and a majority of those will need to vote in favour in order for the Bill to continue on its journey through the legislative process.

Even if the required number of MPs don’t show up and the Bill fails, the Government could still pick up the proposals and insert them into another Bill at a later stage.

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  1. 70GJ

    When do landlords get their Bill about non payment of rent, wilfully destroyed houses, fraud and illegal subletting.

  2. smile please

    I have a few horror stories of tenants. Can I sue them?

  3. jeremy1960

    I guess that as it’s on Facebook there is nothing to stop landlords joining in and adding horror stories about tenants to balance the content?

  4. LettingsInsurer75

    You do have ways to share horror stories (to an extent) – usually by way of giving a reference on tenants when they apply for properties elsewhere. If the tenant was bad, don’t give a reference.

    Unfortunately, a lot of agents seem to treat it as a mere source of additional income (i.e. “Hi ex-tenant. Pay us £30 and we’ll give your new agents a jolly good reference!) rather than as a means to freely help each other out.

    But that’s just my two cents…

    1. Yorkshire Landlord

      We will always give an honest reference even if its to our detriment when wanting a troublesome tenant to leave, however I’m shocked by how few of our tenants that leave ask us for a reference, whether they’ve gone to a private landlord or an agent.

      We’ve also received misleading references that nearly led to nightmare tenants being housed.

      With one, (reputable) agent laughing that they’d heard the tenant had taken an axe to our reception desk when lies on their application came to light, (and that the agent had lied for the tenant) when the tenancy was refused. They didn’t find it so funny when we said that the police would be visiting them too for a statement…



      1. CountryLass


        Remind me never to work in your area…

        1. Yorkshire Landlord

          yes was really scary at the time, however don’t be put off as fortunately we have lots of really lovely tenants 🙂

      2. Woodentop

        After decades we have only been asked TWICE for references on a former tenant! We take little input from landlords references without corroboration … so many are false to get rid of the troublesome tenant.

        1. Yorkshire Landlord

          We do our own landlord references and make sure that we include questions about behaviours eg neighbour complaints etc.
          And if they use the old chestnut, ‘living with family and friends’ to avoid a landlord reference then we will do land registry searches to verify ownership of the address etc. Caught a few out with that 😉

  5. CountryLass

    I think that making sure all rented accommodation is in habitable condition is important. But once again this is something victimising Landlords, with no equality for Landlords to sue Tenants for work needed.

    Tenants drying clothes indoors and not ventilating. Landlord ends up redecorating/plastering etc, can they sue the Tenant? Oh no, no, no! We cant enforce Tenants having to take responsibility for their home!

    And who pays the cost if the Landlords is cleared and shown that they kept the property in good condition, and the issue was down to the Tenants abuse of the property and ignoring advice given?


  6. Will

    Well well Ms Buck seems to have been to the DONALD TRUMP SCHOOL OF POLITICS.  No doubt lots of fake news will be involved.

    Such a loaded question.

    How many people respond to a question if they are generally happy? Some

    How many people respond if they are unhappy?  Loads and loads.

    She is using the “Shelter” method of statistics.

    Will it result in a fair, useful and accurate survey?  OF COURSE NOT!

    Why has she not pushed councils to find out why they are not carrying out enforcement applying the HHSRS which empowers them to  enforce? Perhaps something to do with the failure of funding councils on housing enforcement??????

    One has to ask why are landlords being targeted so heavily?  Answer because Government have screwed up so badly they introduced austerity  and since have not managed to get out of the mess they got the country into.  It is a sort of ongoing “BURYING BAD NEWS STORIES” on an ongoing basis to deflect public attention away from Government’s own appalling record. Using their own terms rogue politicians.

    I am sure most property professionals do not support the minority element of bad landlords but we are tiring of the constant LANDLORD BASHING and deformation of the many many landlords that provide decent housing in this country.


  7. Woodentop

    The lead story highlights how one sided and naïve some MP’s are. The current status quo is abused by some from both sides. Responsible landlords should also be protected from rogue tenants. It should be a criminal offence for tenants who provide false and misleading information in an application form with an immediate forfeiture of any tenancy entered into, with costs, on conviction. Serious cases of damage and rent arrears should have the option for imprisonment. After all it is fraud, criminal damage and obtaining a pecuniary advantage but treated as a civil matter, often with little chance of redress.


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