A bid to clamp down on private landlords to prevent them from renting homes that are not up to scratch has been backed by Cambridge MP Julian Huppert.
He wants landlords to be legally required to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard which properties owned by councils and housing associations have to satisfy.
Julian co-sponsored a successful move in the Commons yesterday (Wednesday, January 28) to bring legislation to Parliament to make the change.
He said: “It makes absolutely no sense that we have rigorous standards to protect social housing tenants and yet those renting in the private sector are left at the mercy of their landlords.
“There have been cases where families are living in damp properties in a poor state of repair, some paid for by the taxpayer, and the landlords are not required to meet the Decent Homes Standard.
“A change in the law is well overdue to offer private rented tenants the same protection. We should not have a situation where people, some on low incomes, are living in below standard accommodation when we can do something about it.”
Julian’s support for the so-called 10 Minute Rule Bill is the latest move in his campaign to get a fairer deal for private rental tenants.
He is also lobbying government to get the funding formula for the local housing allowance for Cambridge changed to bring it in line with private rents.
Labour introduced a policy which based housing allowance payments for Cambridge on average property rents across a wide area including cheaper towns such as Littleport and Haverhill.
And they told families whose housing allowance failed to cover the rent, that if they couldn’t afford to pay they should move to cheaper areas.
The government is expected to announce the new rate for Cambridge soon and Julian raised the issue in the Commons recently calling for it to reflect the cost of rents in the city.