Labour leader, Ed Miliband says Labour plan to crackdown on rogue landlords and grant local authorities greater powers.
Politicians are usually reticent to discuss the UK private rental sector (PRS) because political conflicts could easily arise. Landlords are, of course, great taxpayers and contributors to the economy, where tenants are seen to be the ‘ordinary man’: in reality, both have their place and their way of working.
However, Labour party leader Ed Milliband was keen to make clear his plans to protect tenants from rogue landlords in a speech delivered earlier this week, in favour of longer tenancy agreements.
Labour leader Ed Miliband announced plans to protect tenants who rent from private landlords in a speech fleshing out his vision for a one nation Labour party. He warned that action is needed to prevent damaging social divisions between homeowners and those who rent.
One of the key elements of the labour leader’s proposal is to encourage and make affordances for longer term tenancies. As Mr Miliband pointed out, most UK properties have a two-month notice period which is not much time for families to find alternative accommodation, particularly in the case of DSS tenants. This is something that landlords would certainly have to consider, but it is a question of balancing security against the flexibility to sell.
In his speech to the Fabian Society on Saturday, Mr Miliband proposed a national register of landlords and more powers for councils to tackle or strike off rogue ones. He also wants the confusing system of fees charged by landlords to be made clearer to prevent tenants being ripped off.
Milliband noted that 3.6 Million households, including 1 Million with children, are now in privately rented sector (PRS) accommodation, more than in the social rented sector for the first time in almost 50 years.
In keeping with some arrangements proposed by local councils recently, Mr Miliband would like to see a national register of landlords and to award councils the power to ‘strike off’ bad landlords, denying them the right to let property and to access utilities like landlord insurance. It’s an unfortunate truth that there are bad landlords out there and a register would undoubtedly give tenants more confidence in the market.
Mr Miliband said “We cannot have two nations divided between those who own their own homes and those who rent. Most people who rent have responsible landlords and rental agencies. But there are too many rogue landlords and agencies either providing accommodation which is unfit or ripping off their tenants. And too many families face the doubt of a two-month notice period before being evicted. Imagine being a parent with kids settled in a local school and your family settled in your home for two, three, four years, facing that sort of uncertainty. We would introduce a national register of landlords and greater powers for local authorities to root out and strike off the rogues. We would end the confusing, inconsistent and opaque fees and charges regime, making fees easily understandable, upfront and comparable. And we will seek to remove the barriers that stand in the way of longer term tenancies.”
Mr Miliband believes his society theme highlights his determination to focus on greater responsibility from top to bottom, with bankers expected to show restraint in remuneration and responsibility in lending, and welfare recipients expected to seek work.
The Labour leader also said that his new approach stands in stark contrast to what is described as the government’s “old trickle-down divisive ideology” in which taxes are cut for the rich while benefits for the poor rise by less than the rate of inflation.
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)