A Conservative MP has been widely criticised in the press for saying the proposed law for landlords saying they need to make homes “fit for human habitation” is not needed.
Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, spoke out after Labour MP Karen Buck’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill proposal was presented to Parliament on Friday.
If passed, the bill would resurrect a law from 1885 which has been rendered obsolete by nearly 60 years of rent inflation.
Tenants already have the right to a home that is fit for human habitation, but only if the rent is less than £52 per annum (or £80 in London) – limits last revised in 1957.
Buck told MPs the current law requires landlords to fix things that have fallen into disrepair but they’re under no legal obligation to remedy problems such as condensation or mould.
Davies, a landlord himself, said the new bill proposed by Buck would put “a huge burden on landlords”.
“My contention would be … I don’t think this particular bill is necessary to achieve what I would like to see,” he said at the debate. “[It’s] as if [landlords] have nothing else to do but wade through legislation generated by this House.
“The overwhelming majority of landlords, and I will put myself in this category, want to do the right thing and wouldn’t ever dream of renting out a property that isn’t in a fit state to be rented out and want to comply with every regulation that’s introduced.”
Davies was one of two MPs widely criticised for “filibustering” or talking out the revenge evictions bill presented to MPs in November last year.