Government backs Bill giving tenants powers to sue landlords for unfit propertiesMake Text Bigger
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Housing, announced yesterday his Government’s support for new legislation proposed under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill 2017-19.
The Private Members’ Bill brought forward by Labour MP, Karen Buck, includes giving tenants the right to take legal action over the habitation standards of private rental property.
The Bill had previously been defeated in Parliament by conservative MPs, but was reintroduced by Karen Buck after the Grenfell Tower disaster in London.
However, in a complete turn around, The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government has decided it will help the Labour MP to draft the Bill.
Sajid Javid said: “Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live. Councils already have wide ranging powers to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe and substandard accommodation.
“However, public safety is paramount and I am determined to do everything possible to protect tenants. That is why government will support new legislation that requires all landlords to ensure properties are safe and give tenants the right to take legal action if landlords fail in their duties.”
Under existing powers local authorities can already fine landlords up to £30,000 for renting unsafe or substandard accommodation and from April councils will also be able to issue banning orders for repeat offending landlords.
The Bill is looking to give more powers to tenants to force landlords to fix category one health and safety hazards or take legal action against landlords if these hazards are not fixed. Examples of the types of hazards include leaking roofs, exposed or overloaded wiring, damp, badly fitted doors etc.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill 2017-19 is expected to have its second reading debate on Friday 19 January 2018. The summary of the Bill states it is 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; to amend the Building Act 1984 to make provision about the liability for works on residential accommodation that do not comply with Building Regulations; and for connected purposes.
Please Click Here to see full details of the Bill drawn up so far.
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