THE CONSERVATIVE MPs in Bromsgrove and Mid Worcestershire have defended the Government’s decision to vote against amendments to the Housing Bill, which some argued was aimed at ensuring landlords maintained homes so every one was fit for human habitation.
Amendment 52 of the Housing Bill was rejected by 312 votes to 219 last Thursday (January 12).
But Sajid Javid said the amendment was not needed as local authorities already had powers to ensure that was the case.
“It’s an absolute that all tenants of any duration must have safe and decent standard homes.
“The existing Housing Act 2004 already provides powers to deal with unsafe accommodation.
“On top of this, the Government’s Housing and Planning Bill will strengthen local authority powers and incentives to tackle rogue landlords, including introducing Banning Orders for the very first time.”
Nigel Huddleston (Cons/Mid Worcs) added: “The amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill put forward by the Labour Party would have in reality had very little impact and was a bit of gesture politics so I voted against it.
“Councils already have extremely strong and effective powers through the Housing Act 2004 to deal with poor quality and unsafe accommodation.”
But the pair and the Conservatives came under fire from Northfield MP Richard Burden.
The Labour member said the Housing Bill ‘did nothing to build more affordable housing or protect private renters from rip-off rents and squalid conditions’.
He added: “Council tenancy changes will prevent new families on low incomes from having a stable rented home.
“For Ministers to turn a blind eye to landlords who expect families to live in squalor is just not acceptable in the 21st century and it also undermines responsible landlords who treat their tenants fairly.”
* What do you think? Is there enough legislation in place to ensure homes are of a high enough standard? Or does more need to be done?
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