Labour has given shocking new details of its proposals for the private rental sector including £100.000 fines if properties are deemed substandard.
The party says it will introduce a national ‘property MOT’.
This would introduce a legal requirement for landlords to complete an independent annual inspection to ensure homes are up to scratch, with fines up to £100,000 and forced repayment of rent to tenants if landlords let sub-standard properties or flout other rules.
Labour claims tenants collectively pay over £10 billion a year in rent to landlords letting out sub-standard homes.
And it says one in four private rented homes is classed as ‘non-decent’.
Labour will also draw up a private renters’ charter will be based on three key rights:
- The right to an affordable rented home: with rents capped at inflation nationally, powers for further controls for areas facing run-away rents and local housing allowance increased to cover the cost of renting;
- The right to a secure rented home: with new open-ended tenancies, protecting tenants from unfair eviction;
- The right to a decent rented home: with new minimum standards, backed by a new annual property MOT and stronger local enforcement powers.
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says: “Labour will be on the side of tenants and take on dodgy landlords who have been given free rein for too long. Real change means taking on those who exploit the housing crisis to charge eye-watering rents for substandard accommodation.
“Labour will put power in the hands of tenants with our new charter of renters’ rights, a cap on private rents and funding for renters unions to support tenants to organise and defend their right to safe and secure housing.”
Shadow housing secretary John Healey adds: “The power imbalance in the private rental market is at the heart of our housing crisis, with rents eating up too much of people’s pay, tenants afraid of eviction if they report problems, and families with children forced to uproot their lives at short notice.
“Labour will legislate in year one for a new charter of renters’ rights, with open-ended tenancies, new minimum standards and rent controls to make renting more affordable. We will make private renting a better option for all.”