Islington MP Calls for New Legislation in the PRS

A proposed bill for the regulation of the private rental sector was announced to the House of Commons this week.

The bill, read by Jeremy Corbyn, MP for Islington, calls for new legislation in the PRS.

Mr Corbyn began by saying that private rented accommodation was “very expensive”, and gave the reason for rising prices being that local authorities are fulfilling their statutory housing duties by placing tenants in the PRS.  He argued that the cap on housing benefit would cause further problems.

He called for the regulation of letting agencies and landlords, and said that his Bill would legislate for:

  • Tenancy deposit protection
  • Implementation of all environmental standards, including energy efficiency standards
  • Secure tenancies of five years, with a “break clause” for those who wish to move out of an area or move house
  • “Fair rent”, achieved via a return to rent regulation, and rent tribunals to prevent “ludicrous” profiteering by landlords
  • Outlawing of “discrimination” by letting agents against those in receipt of state benefits – which is a “blatant piece of discrimination” that “ought to be outlawed”
  • A requirement for all local authorities to set up an office to monitor and enforce PRS law locally
  • Protection to ensure that necessary repairs are carried out by landlords

Mr Corbyn claimed that new measures are necessary as rising rents are causing the “depopulation” of inner city areas such as Islington, where some tenants are facing a difference between the amount of benefits the receive and rent of more than £100 per month, which is forcing them to move.

He argued that such “thorough and comprehensive regulation” was needed urgently.  He claimed that some of his constituents were facing “sheer nastiness” by some landlords.  A lack of regulation means that people are suffering “appalling treatment” at the hands of the market.

Mr Corbyn said it is “high time” that thorough and comprehensive regulations were introduced throughout the sector.

He claimed rogue letting agents “charge what they like” for small administrative tasks and deposits are often not returned. The MP also said there is no “real redress in law” concerning evictions.

The bill will receive a second reading on April 26th.

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