Tuesday 25 April 2017

Should rented accommodation be "fit for human habitation"?

In January 2016 the Labour Party tried to add an amendment to the Tory Housing and Development Bill in order to ensure that all rented properties are "fit for human habitation" but Tory MPs (1/3 of whom are landlords) voted the amendment down.

It doesn't seem like too much to ask to specify that if you're going to rent out a house for people to live in, that house should be in a fit state to be lived in, but apparently that's too damned much for the Tory party and their financial backers.

It beggars belief that anyone would try to argue the case that there shouldn't be a rule to prevent unscrupulous slumlords renting out properties that are unfit for people to live in, but that's precisely what the Tory government and their tribalist followers did at the time they shot the Labour Party amendment down.

If you live in rented accommodation you'd have to be completely crackers to vote for a party that voted down a move to ensure that unscrupulous landlords have no right to exploit the housing shortage by renting appalling places to tenants with nowhere else to turn.

Another factor to consider is that since 2010 the Tories have overseen the lowest level of new house building since the 1920s and at a time of soaring demand too (net migration when Theresa May was Home Secretary soared to its highest levels ever). Unsurprisingly this combination of factors helped inflate the housing bubble and push the possibility of home ownership beyond the means of huge numbers of people.

You would have thought that the least the government could do under such circumstances would be to protect the rights of people who are trapped in the private rental market because house prices have soared to their most unaffordable levels ever under their watch, but no.

The Tories are on the side of the worst kind of exploitative buy-to-let slumlords, not yours.

If you live in rented accommodation you'd clearly have to be out of your mind to vote Tory.

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