Bills announced to reform private renting

Parliament has announced the 20 Private Member's Bills that are being introduced today, and they include three on housing.

Karen Buck, MP for Westminster North, has introduced the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill, which will amend a law from the 1980s to ensure that rented properties meet certain standards. We think this is a huge opportunity to give tenants the protection they need from unscrupulous landlords and agents - and finally bring renting into the 21st century. Karen is a longtime campaigner on housing so we'll work hard to support her as she takes the Bill through Parliament.

Mark Pawsey, MP for Rugby, is introducing a Crown Tenancies Bill, which would give tenants of the state assured tenancies – this sounds a bit niche, so we’ll have to wait for further details about who would benefit.

Finally, Angela Watkinson, MP for Hornchurch in east London, is proposing a requirement on councils to collect information about landlords when new tenants fill out council tax forms. The rationale is that it’s a low cost way for councils to find out which properties are being let privately and adapt their enforcement of housing standards appropriately. While it’s more than what we have today, many landlords could still evade detection if they wanted to, for example, by keeping the council tax in their name.

Any system of landlord registration must have penalties for those who don’t comply – that’s why we’re calling for full licensing and a national register of landlords. Support our campaign here.


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Individual Advice

Generation Rent can’t offer advice about individual problems. Here are a few organisations that can:

You might also find quick but informal help on ACORN’s Facebook forum, and there are more suggestions on The Renters Guide.