Daniel Zeichner MP has promised a “rights revolution” for Cambridge renters after Labour’s Shadow Housing Secretary, John Healey, announced new policies to toughen legal minimum standards for all private rented homes.

Labour plans to deal with landlords who let out dangerous or substandard homes after it released an analysis showing for the first time the true cost of England’s 1.3m substandard private rented properties -; now housing 400,000 families with children nationwide. Tenants now spend £800m every month -; £9.6bn a year -; on housing which the government classifies as “non-decent”. Around a quarter of this -; £2.3bn per year -; is paid by housing benefit.

Labour would extend the same consumer rights to private renters as other products and services like white goods.

Daniel Zeichner said: “The law is now so weak that there are effectively no minimum standards for private renters and tenants must rely on the City Council’s environmental health services. The cost of housing benefit to the public purse of substandard properties is also a national scandal. So many people in Cambridge use the private rented market but the law does not protect many in paying over the odds for substandard rooms and houses.”

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