Labour MP calls for seizing properties from criminal landlords to tackle housing crisis

Labour MP calls for seizing properties from criminal landlords to tackle housing crisis

0:01 AM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago 32

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Rental properties should be seized from landlords who consistently break the rules and take advantage of tenants, says a Labour MP.

Clive Betts, the chair of the levelling up, housing and communities select committee, told the Guardian, that confiscated homes could become the property of councils, which could then use them to house people in need or sell them off to raise money for social housing.

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Betts also said Section 21 abolition may not become a reality until after the next election and criticised Labour’s social housing policy.

Stop landlords from mistreating tenants

The Labour MP said tougher actions are needed to stop landlords from mistreating tenants.

Mr Betts told the Guardian: “Some landlords are putting tenants in appalling accommodation, they’re using the threat of eviction to make sure that they don’t get complaints and they are oblivious to the fines that are levied against them.

“All that needs to change and needs to change quickly. Not waiting for some court reforms in five or six years’ time.”

He added that a threat of properties being confiscated would be a “significant deterrent”.

“The threat of seizure would bring landlords up fairly sharply because some of those properties are worth quite a lot of money.

“This would create a significant deterrent to landlords who treated fines for letting out squalid, unsafe and overcrowded homes as simply a cost of doing business.”

Awful situation

Mr Betts said he was “extremely angry” with the government over the delay of Section 21.

The government recently announced plans that Section 21 will be shelved until the court system has been improved.

He said: “Because of the delay, no one who rents privately or under the current tenancy arrangements could have any certainty about where they would be living in a year’s time.

“It’s an awful situation for a family thinking not only about where their home will be but about where your children’s school will be, how you are going to get to work”.

Fail to build the social housing needed

The chair of the Housing Select Committee expressed criticism of Labour’s housing policy, which he said would fail to build the social housing needed to help resolve problems within the private rented sector.

Angela Rayner, the shadow housing secretary, told the party conference that a Labour government would require private developers to build more affordable housing as a price of planning consent.

The cross-party housing committee has estimated that 90,000 new social homes need to be built each year and relying on developer contributions would not deliver that.

Mr Betts told the Guardian a multibillion-pound increase in state subsidies for social housing was needed instead.

He said: “As one witness very simply said to us, you can’t have subsidised housing without subsidies, that’s going to be a challenge for any new government.”

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Sam B

10:34 AM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Sounds reasonable if it applied equally. So how about if a council fails so miserably they will be compelled to give the property to the tenant? But no they won't do that just the much maligned and abused private landlord.

Happy housing

10:39 AM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Yes LLs are not rich just trying to make a living, this should be both ways. Tenant don't pay rent, trash the property, subletting without consent and it takes so long for eviction. As soon as a court orders a possession order Tenant should be evicted and fines for trashing landlords property


10:49 AM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Labour showing its true colours........appropriate private property. Just like Hugo Chavez did in Venezuela, and that worked out soooooo well.

L Bennett

10:50 AM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

So, he's proposing theft of private property? And what about tenants who behave abominably? Where is the justice for that?


10:59 AM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

A very clever move - new housing for councils for ‘free’! You can’t do any better than that!!


11:16 AM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

I did say a couple of weeks ago - take a look at Labour’s manifesto pages 13 - 15 ‘wow’! I feel this is only the tip of the iceberg to what’s coming from either party!

Martin Hicks

11:22 AM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

This proposal could land a council with a run-down property in need of much work in order to render it liveable, followed by ongoing maintenance costs. They would probably opt to sell it on the open market and use the money elsewhere. So there will be one more homeless family for them to house.

Ray Guselli

12:01 PM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Anything about tenants mistreating landlords...

I thought not...

The usual uneducated, "bash a landlord" rhetoric from politicians who haven't a clue.

John MacAlevey

12:08 PM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Councils should be seized by the people if they`re mistreating landlords..


12:13 PM, 17th November 2023, About 3 weeks ago

Once a policy like this takes effect then their definition of "criminal" will start to include landlords who failed to get a Selective Licence, or whose gas safety check is late or who didn't do a thorough right to rent check.

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