Debating the Housing Bill

On Tuesday, I was pleased to join Shelter at their Parliamentary launch event for its January public advice services campaign. This campaign encourages those facing bad housing or homelessness to seek advice from Shelter as early as possible, to stop these problems spiralling out of control.

I value the work of Shelter’s support and advice services that include a website, helpline and face to face services in Truro. Sadly, many people do not seek help with their housing problems until they are in desperate situations.

Some of the cases I am trying to resolve for my constituents involve private landlords. While there are many good private landlords, who provide an essential service, too many of the cases I see involve bad practise from landlords and letting agencies. Since being elected, I have been working with the excellent Ruth Clarke of the Cornwall Residential Landlords Association, campaigning locally and nationally to clamp down on ‘rogue landlords and letting agencies’ and the government has tightened up on some poor practise.

This week in Parliament we are debating the Housing Bill and the part of the Bill that provides for the following: the creation of a blacklist of rogue landlords and letting agents; the sharing of tenancy deposit data to help local authorities identify private rented properties; the strengthening of the ‘fit and proper person’ test for landlords of licensable properties. These measures will make a big difference to the lives of England’s 11 million private renters, 1 in 6 of who live in properties that the government deem to contain a health hazard.

Finally, I am pleased by the Minister’s commitment to look into how private renters can be protected from the danger of electrical hazards in their home. Following a local tragedy this is something I have been championing for years.

Published by West Briton.

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