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Tenants in Poor Housing Can Take Landlords to Court

The Government has thrown its weight behind a Labour MP’s proposals to allow tenants to take landlords to court if they don’t ensure
their property is fit for human habitation throughout their tenancy.

Secretary of State for Housing Sajid Javid confirmed on Sunday the 15th of January that the Government supports the idea for new legislation that it said would help ensure rented homes are safe.

The new legislation would enable tenants to sue if landlords fail in their duties and will apply to all tenancies of fewer than seven years, regardless of the type of landlord. The proposal is not new but the official government backing for it is. It is in a Private Member’s Bill put forward by the Labour MP for Westminster North, Karen Buck.

Buck originally introduced the Bill in 2015, seeking to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation but it was talked out. Labour then sought to reintroduce her proposals in the Housing and Planning Bill 2015/2016, but 312 MPs – almost entirely Conservatives – voted against, while 219 voted in favour.

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