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Letter: Please support Generation Rent and ask our MP to make homes fit for human habitation

Date published: 02 December 2017


Dear Editor,

On 19 January 2018, MPs have an important opportunity to make the private rented sector better.

On that day, Karen Buck MP, Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill has its second reading in Parliament. If it passes, all rented homes - private or social - would need to be 'fit for human habitation', and renters could take legal action against landlords who did not maintain the property in a decent condition.

The Bill covers communal areas, ensuring renters in blocks could take action around safety complaints, something that tragically was denied at Grenfell Tower. Millions of renters currently live with poor conditions and they need redress when their landlord won't act.

The Bill is a Private Member's Bill, meaning it is brought by a single MP and does not currently have government backing (though Karen has secured support from MPs of other parties). Even without official government backing, we can make sure the Bill passes this parliamentary stage if we can get enough MPs to turn up and vote for it.

Previous Bills have been defeated when opposing MPs have 'talked it out', meaning it does not have enough time to be debated and voted on. This can be avoided if we can get at least 100 MPs in Parliament that day who are willing to vote for it. Every MP we can get is therefore vital. This is a Bill which all decent Landlords and Members of Parliament should be able to support.

The Bill also has support from across the housing sector, including from the National Landlords Association and the Residential Landlords Association. Decent landlords realise they have nothing to fear from decent quality housing stock.

Indeed, it is to their mutual advantage and that of their tenants that the UK has a high quality housing supply for rent.

The Bill has such widespread support since it calls for nothing more controversial than:

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.

Generation Rent are asking their supporters to email their MP asking them to attend the debate and vote for the Bill - all renters deserve a home that is fit for human habitation, and should have the legal mechanism to take action against poor landlords.

Concerned readers of Rochdale Online can do so in a few moments at:

http://act.generationrent.org/lobby/fitforhumanhabitation

Thank you.

Yours,

Andrew Wastling

The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.


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