The Private Members’ Bill put forward by Labour MP Karen Buck, which could give tenants the right to sue landlords if their home is of a poor standard, is to get its second reading in the House of Commons in January 2018.
The Bill had its first reading earlier this week before the Commons started its summer recess - that was a formal process involving the Bill being presented and a number of supporters being listed.
Interestingly, its supporters included a Conservative MP as well as many Labour members.
The measure was moved by Buck and supported by Labour MPs Luciana Berger, Jess Phillips, Matthew Pennycook, Shabana Mahmood, Marsha De Cordova, Andy Slaughter, Alex Sobel, Kate Green, Diana Johnson and Clive Efford.
The Conservative MP who supported it was Heidi Allen.
Tenants already have the right to a home that is fit for human habitation, but only if the rent is less than £52 per annum, or £80 in London – these figures were set back in 1957.
Under the Housing Act of 2004 landlords can be forced to make repairs by local councils but the authorities tend to act only on tenants’ complaints, and have few resources to pro-actively inspect the private rental accommodation.
Only 2,006 landlords have been convicted of offences under the Housing Act 2004 so far.