Labour’s Daniel Zeichner has welcomed plans to put power in the hands of tenants with a new ‘charter of renters’ rights’.
To deal with the problem of squalid private renting housing, Labour will announce a new national ‘property MOT’. This would introduce a legal requirement for landlords to complete an independent annual inspection to ensure homes are up to scratch, with tough fines and forced repayment of rent to tenants if landlords let out sub-standard properties or flout the rules.
Nearly 20,000 households in Cambridge will benefit from Labour’s new policy.
New research by Labour has revealed that tenants collectively pay over £10bn a year in rent to landlords letting out sub-standard homes. Nationally, one in four private rented homes are classed as ‘non-decent’, meaning they are damp, cold, in disrepair or unsafe to live in.
Labour’s private renters’ charter will be based on three key rights:
- The right to an affordable rented home: with rents capped at inflation nationally, powers for further controls for areas facing run-away rents and local housing allowance increased to cover the cost of renting;
- The right to a secure rented home: with new open-ended tenancies, protecting tenants from unfair eviction;
- The right to a decent rented home: with new minimum standards, backed by a new annual property MOT and fresh local enforcement powers.
Earlier this year a rouge landlord was taken to court by Cambridge City Council because of the grim living conditions of a squalid home with no hot water and inadequate fire safety measures.
Daniel Zeichner said:
“There are more and more private renters in the city, with fewer and fewer choices and none of them are protected by the government if their landlord tries to get one over on them.
“It doesn’t have to be this way: what we need are rent controls and strong rights to help renters against dodgy landlords. That’s real change for renters.
“Everyone deserves high quality housing – and this is how we’ll make sure we get it. Labour’s got your back.”