damp disrepair

20 Jun 24

Labour says it will crackdown on ‘unscrupulous landlords’ who are strangling growth in the private rented sector (PRS).

The party is adding details to its manifesto which was launched last week.

It says there will be a clampdown on ‘unscrupulous landlords ripping off tenants with extortionate rents and lurid living conditions’.

Labour adds that renters will be ‘better off under Labour’ and Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions will be abolished.

There’s also a promise to improve conditions and tenant bidding wars will be made illegal.

Labour also says it will bring greater security for renters by ending ‘massive’ up-front rent payments.

‘Tories have failed to stand up for renters’

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said: “Time and time again, the Tories have failed to stand up for renters.

“From endless delays to no-fault evictions, to failure to sort damp, cold and mouldy homes, the Conservatives are failing working people.

“Labour will call time on a decade of Tory vested interest and put renters first.”

She added: “An affordable, secure private rented sector is vital for economic growth, allowing young people to save for a mortgage with more money in their pockets to spend in the day-to-day economy.

“Our plans will support good landlords, but we are calling time on unscrupulous landlords strangling growth.”

Promising to end fuel poverty

Labour is also promising to end fuel poverty and reduce energy bills.

The bidding war promise comes after the New Economics Foundation thinktank found that last year, tenants had to pay an extra £100 above the asking price per month for their home.

The plan’s details haven’t been confirmed but it is believed the party is looking at other countries, such as New Zealand, where a similar policy has been successful.

Labour also says that stiff competition for a rented home has seen some tenants handing over several months of rent in advance to secure the property.

Again, there are no details on how this will be tackled.

Ms Rayner also says that Labour’s plan to build 1.5 million more homes is the ‘only real way’ to make renting affordable.

End the ‘rip-off private rented sector’

The Guardian also reports that Labour’s bid to end the ‘rip-off private rented sector’ will also see:

  • Private renters could be £250 better off every year by forcing landlords to improve the property’s energy efficiency
  • Landlords won’t be able to auction their rented home to the highest bidder.
Commitment to supporting renters is welcome

Ben Twomey, the chief executive of Generation Rent, said: “The Labour Party’s commitment to supporting renters is welcome. The process of reform cannot be held back by landlords’ vested interests any longer and the next government must stand up to people profiting from weak tenants’ rights.

“Labour has promised to enable tenants to challenge unreasonable rent increases, but in order to do so must go further to slam the brakes on soaring rents, limiting increases to the lower of wage growth or inflation.

“Tenants looking for a new place to live can face horrendous exploitation, including being asked to bid against other renters for homes, or pay up to six months’ rent in one go to get hold of the keys.”

He added: “This makes it particularly hard for people on low incomes to secure a tenancy.

“Landlords and letting agents should be required to charge only the advertised rent, and just one month plus the deposit up front.

“The commitment to raise minimum energy efficiency standards in privately rented homes to EPC Band C is an essential step towards lifting one in four private renters out of fuel poverty.

“Upgrading insulation and heating systems will also help counteract damp and mould problems that damage our health and belongings.”

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