Housing and Planning Bill

Foreign and Commonwealth Office — New Clause 52 — Implied term of fitness for human habitation in residential lettings

Local authorities already have strong and effective powers to deal with poor-quality, unsafe accommodation and we expect them to use those powers. Where tenants raise concerns, they can carry out an inspection using the housing health and safety ratings system introduced in the Housing Act 2004, which assesses 29 categories of hazard found in a property. Local authorities can issue an improvement notice or a hazard awareness notice, or prohibit the property from being rented out. In serious cases, the local authority may decide to make repairs itself.

The Government want to crack down on the small minority of rogue and criminal landlords who exploit their tenants by renting out unsafe and substandard accommodation and who fail to comply with statutory notices. Measures in the Bill that we have already debated will ensure that our powers against rogue and bad landlords go further than ever before.

Tenants with bad electrics or mould are covered and they need to contact their local authority so that the local authority can use its powers. In addition, the Government have a wide range of policy initiatives to improve existing properties in the private rented sector.

The clause in question: New clause 52 would result in unnecessary regulation and cost to landlords, which would deter further investment and push up rents for tenants.