Tag Archives: tenants

Olly Grender celebrates ban on lettings fees for private tenants

olly grenderLib Dem peer Olly Grender has welcomed the Government’s reported plans to ban lettings fees for private tenants. This move didn’t come out of thin air but as a result of tireless campaigning by the Liberal Democrats and others. Olly and Tom Brake have been pushing this in both houses of Parliament and have taken part in demonstrations. Liberal Democrat council groups up and down the country have also been campaigning on this issue.

Olly said:

Our relentless campaigning to get tenants’ letting fees banned has finally paid off and the Government has recognised this is the right thing to do. The upfront costs of renting are far too high, pushing many people into debt just to pay the fees, and stopping others from being able to move into a rented home.

“It’s no coincidence that just five days after the debate on our Renters’ Rights Bill, which urged the Government to ban these fees, they have agreed to make this important change. Now they must agree to our calls to make renting safer and more secure too.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

Opinion: Licensing the private sector housing market would be more effective than 3 year tenancies and a rent fix

Matilda HouseMuch has been said about Ed Miliband’s latest proposal to grant 3 year tenancies and cap rent rises over the three years but it’s not that bad an idea as a part of a package of measures to tackle the housing crisis. The key problem is that Mr Miliband’s solution would have to be regulated and yet Labour has consistently blocked the introduction of regulation for the private sector housing market.

We need to ensure that all rented accommodation (private, social, co-operative, lodging or council) meets standards of service …

Posted in Op-eds | 12 Comments

Opinion: Should we regulate all private landlords – over to you, conference

The party’s housing working group has looked at the laws around the private rented sector. We had a choice of whether we regulate: no private landlords, or some private landlords or all private landlords. The party’s housing working group rejected the deregulation option. But we didn’t reach agreement on whether we should regulate some landlords, targeting landlords with more vulnerable tenants, or regulate all 1 million private landlords. It will be for conference to decide.

Large houses in multiple occupation (HMO), e.g. student houses, have always been regulated because HMO tenants have always been seen to be at a greater risk of harm. The Housing Act 2004 increased the regulation introducing licensing which covers both the state of the property and the ability of the landlord to manage the property. The Housing Act 2004 also enabled councils to introduce targeted licensing (Selective or Additional licensing) but only in areas subject to anti-social behaviour or low housing demand.

Posted in Conference, News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 32 Comments

That’s the way to do it! How Liberal Democrats made the running on the Localism Bill

Annette Brooke MP and Lord (Graham) Tope are the Lib Dem Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Policy Committee on Communities and Local Government, and led the Lib Dem response to the Localism Bill. Here they outline what they, working with colleagues in the party and many beyond, helped achieve.

Last night the Localism Bill completed its final stage in Parliament and is set to become law when it achieves Royal Assent next week.

As Co-Chairs of the Parliamentary Policy Committee on Communities and Local Government, it has been our job over the last ten months to lead on the Bill for the party. We’ve helped shepherd it through both Houses of Parliament, and have led a Lib Dem team that in many ways has made the running on the Bill.

We’ve had strong engagement with Coalition ministers, who engaged with us constructively, particularly Greg Clark, Baroness Hanham and our very own Andrew Stunell, who was very helpful and willing to work together with us to improve the Bill considerably.

Colleagues in local government were also a constant source of help and good ideas, which never ceased to better inform our Bill team as the process went on.

Where we started from: “a good bill in theory, with several flaws in practice”

When it was first introduced, I think many Liberal Democrats would agree that it was a good bill in theory, with several flaws in practice.

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 13 Comments

Opinion: Four ways we can tackle the housing crisis

Housing is moving up the agenda -– and looks like being a key issue in next year’s London elections. The Greater London Authority now has more powers over housing and given London is still dogged by a lack of affordable homes to rent, lease or buy, despite the recession, it’s reasonable for Londoners to expect the next Mayor and Assembly to take action.

Building more homes in a time of public sector cuts will be a challenge, and even using what we’ve got more efficiently will take a lot of cash. So we will need a range of ideas if we’re …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 24 Comments

Social housing: a home for life?

None of us, especially those who are councillors, can fail to understand the huge crisis of social housing waiting lists. It’s not simply the homeless or those in desperate need of a decent home. Many families will never be able to afford to buy their own home, yet face many years in unsuitable and overcrowded accommodation because of a shortage of affordable homes to rent.  Currently social housing tenants are granted secure tenancies, not only for their lives, but often to pass onto their children. This continues regardless of the needs of future tenants. So would fixed-term tenancies be a fairer way to allocate the limited supply of cheap housing?

Certainly David Cameron seems to think so. Speaking in Birmingham yesterday, the Prime Minister said it makes sense for tenants to be given fixed-term deals in future – so they can be moved on if their circumstances change and those in most need can be housed.  After hearing from a mother living in overcrowded accommodation, he said:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 32 Comments
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    @ Noncomformistradical, "Why (EV charging points-PM) – if/where new homes are built with access to decent public transport systems?" This seems a silly question to...
  • User AvatarDavid 19th Apr - 7:56am
    What Mark Smulian said. Might is not right.
  • User AvatarAndy Daer 19th Apr - 7:31am
    I am staggered by the number of people on this site who support Caron on this matter. I notice today's Daily Mail also backs her...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 19th Apr - 7:23am
    @Michael BG "for example every new home built should have a car parking space with an electric car charging point." Oh really? Why - if/where...
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