Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith will be in parliament this Friday (19 Jan) to support the Bill being introduced by Labour MP Karen Buck which will give renters a new legal right to ensure their home is ‘fit for human habitation’.
The new legislation, long campaigned for by Labour, could help renters in 162,000 dangerously unfit properties across the North West. Nationally, there are over one million rented properties containing the most serious ‘category 1’ hazards, including homes that have unsafe electrics, vermin infestations, or aren’t fire safe. The Labour Bill will give tenants new legal powers to enforce their right to a decent home by taking their landlord to court if the property they live in is not fit.
This change in the law has been backed by Labour previously and was included in the Party’s June manifesto but has been blocked by the Tories on two previous occasions. However, following a Labour campaign, the government now say they will support the legislation.
Commenting on the Bill, Jeff said:
“It’s shocking to hear that 14% of all homes across the North West are currently unfit for human habitation.
This Government has given bad landlords free reign to let inappropriate and often dangerous properties without fear of reprisal.
This Bill would change that, giving renters the rights they need to hold their landlords to account.”
Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP said:
“Our homes are at the centre of our lives but at the moment renters too often don’t have the basic rights that we take for granted in other areas.
“In practice you have fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge-freezer, and decisions made by Conservative Ministers have made it easier for bad landlords to let unfit homes. As a result, too many people are forced to put up with downright dangerous housing.
“After the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, it’s even more important that we ensure all homes are fit for human habitation.”