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Graham Awards


"Bastard landlords" - the term used by a government minister

A government minister says the phrase ”rogue landlord” is too “cuddly” and he wants buy to let investors who broke the law to be called “bastard landlords” - or perhaps an even stronger term which he declined to specify.

In a House of Lords debate last Friday on the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill - initiated in the Commons by Labour backbencher Karen Buck but backed by all parties - Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth summed up for the government.

The Bill gives tenants the right to sue landlords over property conditions.


This is because he is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, and Wales. 

Early in his summing up he said: “This fairly short Bill builds on work we have been doing to improve housing conditions and tackle rogue landlords. I must say that, although I am as guilty of using it as anyone else, I wish we could get away from the phrase ‘rogue landlords’ because it tends to make them sound a little too cuddly for my liking. ‘Bastard landlords’ or something stronger would probably be more appropriate because they are far from being cuddly.”

The Lords approved the Second Reading of the Bill, which seeks to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and the Building Act 1984.

If it becomes law (as is highly likely, in the second half of 2019) it will ensure that all landlords in the social and private sectors must ensure that their property is fit for human habitation at the beginning of the tenancy and throughout and, where this is not done, the tenant will have the right to take legal action in the courts for breach of contract on the grounds that the property is unfit for human habitation.

ARLA, the RLA and the NLA all back the proposal.

  • jeremy clarke

    Well, in truth, most landlords would describe MPs in the same way!

  • icon

    There is already a suitable term for non-compliant and dishonest landlords it's "criminal". The rest of us do not need a permanent adjective. It is right to drop the use of "rogue" being constantly attached to the noun. For the many good how about describing us as "professional" landlords.

  • S l
    • S l
    • 26 November 2018 10:27 AM

    i never thought this would all boil down to name calling. at least, in the article they also include the social rental sector although i doubt anyone in the LA would use their own powers against their own people in the social housing and charge them with the criminal laws as they did to the private rental sector. otherwise, it would already happened, wont it.
    no tenants in the social housing would even exercise the right to sue the social housing for fear of repercussio and being on the street. so again , the prs will be at the brunt of all this. how sad

  • icon

    If the property isn’t up to scratch it doesn’t let end of story
    Maybe in London it is different just a waste of time and money yet again

  • James B

    These MPs are getting out of hand with their campaign to win generation rent votes .. all getting very desperate now

  • icon

    See - I told you so. 'Politics is the last place a man with no discernible ability can make a decent living'.
    All they have to do now is stop washing and they will look like the likes of shelter and other landlord bashers.


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