Thank you for contacting me about the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill.
I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to a decent home and all properties should be free from potential risks to the health and safety of occupants. Having read the Bill, I agree with Shelter that it would help to achieve this aim, by enabling meaningful action to be taken on poor and unsafe living conditions for renters.
As such, I welcomed the Housing Secretary’s recent announcement that, not only was the Government supporting this legislation, but that his department had also been working with Karen Buck MP to help draft the Bill ahead of its recent publication.
If enacted, the Bill will build upon a raft of policies introduced by the Government aimed at driving up standards in the private and social rented sectors. These include empowering local authorities to fine failing landlords up to £30,000. From April, local councils will also be able to issue to banning orders to kick the worst offenders out of the business altogether.
Moreover, I am confident that this Bill will complement the Government’s radical overhaul of building regulations and fire safety, following the Grenfell fire. An independent review into this area, led by Dame Judith Hackitt, is expected to report in the spring.