Shadow housing minister John Healey has given his backing to a Labour MP’s attempt to introduce a mandatory national register for buy to let landlords.
Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson has introduced a Private Members Bill into Parliament calling for a mandatory landlord register.
Healey, on a visit to Wilson’s constituency, told the local press: “The council, local housing associations and police are working together to try and crack deep-seated problems [in the private rental sector]. But they are doing so with both hands tied behind their backs the by government.
“They need strong legal powers so that private landlords and no landlords can let a property without it meeting certain basic standards – to give tenants the confidence to and the rights they do not have at the moment.
“The council also needs more power to set up the sort of register that Phil Wilson is arguing for, so that people know who owns the property know who to go to when there are problems also backstop powers where the landlord won't act to take the property on, make it good and make it a home for someone who needs it.”
After visiting other private rental sector players in the region, Healey said: "Some people are paying for privately rented homes which have faulty electric wiring or chronic damp. Most landlords take their responsibilities seriously... but we have too large a group where they need to be pushed to do the right thing."
Labour’s annual conference begins on Sunday September 23.