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Labour's Burnham plans to seize unfit rental properties

A newspaper claims that Labour leadership hopeful Andy Burnham will this week announce that, should he head the party and eventually become prime minister, he will give councils the power to seize landlords’ homes that are deemed to be unfit.

The Sunday Times says Burnham will reveal the strategy in a keynote speech on housing this week, with the compulsory purchase powers given to local authorities in a bid to ‘out-left’ rival leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn.

The newspaper says that in his speech to the Local Government Association on Thursday Burnham will say: “We need the most ambitious house-building programme in half a century. And to make it happen we need the most ambitious plan to devolve power and money to local communities.”

The article claims Burnham will also reveal that as premier he would give councils the right to borrow money to build homes - he estimates this could lead to an extra 48,000 completions per year.

  • Karl Knipe

    A sensible measure, but one that needs to be carefully regulated to avoid errors or mistakes. For example, you'd need to work out whether the home is in disrepair because of the landlord or because of the tenants. There are instances where tenants damage or deface property, but landlords still find it very difficult to move them on elsewhere.

    When all is said and done, the landlord has ultimate responsibility when it comes to the condition of their rental properties, and we've seen examples of certain landlords (if you can call them that) abusing that duty.

    "We need the most ambitious house-building programme in half a century. And to maske it happen we need the most ambitious plan to devolve power and money to local communities."

    This is also true, but hopefully it's not just shallow words and Burnham would actually act on this if Labour get back into power in 2020.

  • Tom  Harrington

    'He will give councils the power to seize landlords’ homes that are deemed to be unfit'.

    I'm interested to know just exactly how he proposes to distinguish whether the damage has been done by the tenant or the landlord as often the lines can be blurry where the responsibilities lie. The main thing is that new houses must be built, fast, and this could be one potential solution.

  • Emma  Mitchell

    Strong words from Burnham but highly ambitious. He also doesn't mention exactly how much money would need to be borrowed by the council to build these homes.

  • Don Holmes

    Mr Burnham is delusional on a couple of fronts 1) If he did win the leadership and I doubt that, does anyone see him as PM? In which case he should withdrew, 2) Even if such a policy was to be introduced it would cost more to CPO he property, than in many cases to do the repairs, so the current laws are enough. Also who would fund the CPO and then the works afterwards, and then what, what happens to that property, as LA's don't have social housing anymore!! Load of tosh just another "political football game" with the PRS.

  • icon

    I am just sorting out my latest unfit rental property. Five years ago it was well decorated, fitted out well and very clean. Now it it is absolute shit! The so and sos waited five years before they moved out because they knew that after that date I could not claim fair ware and tear. The kitchen is saturated with gee. The carpets are brown with the stuff. Well fixed curtains have been changed and hung on new curtain rails which have fallen out of the plasterboard walls. There was a water leak which was never reported and the flat managers never found. It goes on.

    Why should I be responsible for this blasted mess? Nothing has ever been cleaned since they moved in.

    I am looking at thousands in costs just because these people did not know how to live in a British house and they did not know how to clean.

    If the idea of officially stealing unfit flats catches on then the supply of letting properties is going to vanish! This has all happened before back in the late sixties and the only way it was solved was by introducing section 21.

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