Labour pledges 'tougher' standards for rented houses

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  • Labour has promised a "consumer rights revolution" for renters in England if it wins the general election, with the introduction of new legal standards for rented homes.

    Landlords who fail to meet the "tougher" minimum standards would face fines of up to £100,000, Labour said.

    The proposals include requirements for safe wiring and appliances, freedom from damp and general good repair.

    But the Conservatives said the plan could increase people's rent.

    I don't often agree with Labour policies but I am horrified at the Tory reaction to this one. The idea that people should live in unsuitable and possibly dangerous accommodation is bad enough. The idea that it's perfectly alright for the tax payer to pay some unscrupulous landlords for unfit accommodation via housing benefit is an abuse of all tax payers.

    The tenants of course, often can't report the problems because they are likely get evicted by the landlord who can soon find another desperate tenant prepared to live in dangerous and damp conditions.

    I think Corbyn is right. But in addition the whole business of landlords and private housing needs sorting out. Landlords should be obliged by law to provide safe and decent homes. There also needs to be a system of setting fair rents, with landlords who abuse the system facing heavy fines and if necessary losing control of the property.

    In return, landlords should have new rights to evict tenants who wreck their property or fall into arrears for no good reason much quicker than they can now. It's unfair that some landlords have to wait months to get unsuitable tenants out and are losing rent money while they do so.