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Tories Backing Labour Housing Legislation Shows They’ve Lost The Argument

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Michael Webster
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Today the Commons sees a policy and political landmark when Conservative Ministers back a Labour Bill to tighten regulation to help renters.

In truth Karen Buck’s Bill makes a modest legal change to give all tenants a right to take action in the courts when their landlord fails to make their home fit for human habitation – in other words safe from fire and free of vermin, dangerous wiring, inadequate heating or poor ventilation causing damp and mould.

Remarkably, at present tenants have no legal right to make their property safe or free from such serious health hazards.

Yet for two years the Conservatives in government have set their face against such basic consumer rights.

The former housing minister, and now Party vice-chairman, Marcus Jones stated Tory policy and philosophy in January 2016 when opposing Labour’s amendment to make this change in the Housing & Planning Act; he said it “will result in unnecessary regulation and cost to landlords, which will deter further investment and push up rents for tenants”.

This was a part of the prevailing Conservative approach to market regulation based on the infamous ‘one in, two out’ rule.

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Michael Webster
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