Monday, 14 January 2013

Ed Miliband pledges crackdown on rogue landlords cashing in on housing shortage

Ed Miliband has pledged to crackdown on rogue landlords cashing in on the housing shortage during his first major speech of 2013.

During the speech to the Fabian Society, he said it is wrong to have a nation divided between those who own homes and those who do not.

He also admitted that the last Labour government did not do enough for ordinary people.

New Labour was 'too timid in enforcing rights and responsibilities, especially at the top, and it was too sanguine about the consequences of the rampant free markets'.

Detailing his concerns about the housing market, the Opposition leader pointed out that 3.6 million households, including one million with children, are now in privately rented accommodation. The numbers are bigger than in the social rented sector for the first time in almost half a century.

'We cannot have two nations divided between those who own their own homes and those who rent,' Mr Miliband said.

'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.'

Extracts from the Daily Mail - 12 Jan 2013.