Anne-Marie backs Bill to help make rented homes safer in north Northumberland

Anne-Marie showed their support for renters in Berwick-upon-Tweed on Friday 19 January 2018, when they attended the Second Reading of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill.

The Bill gives renters in Berwick-upon-Tweed and across the country the right to take their landlord to court over unsafe and poor housing conditions.

More than 29,000 homes in the North East have a hazard in their rented home which poses a “serious and immediate risk to health and safety”, according to the recent official statistics. This is the equivalent of 1 in 15 rented homes in the North East.

The ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ Bill has cross-party support and was has been backed by the government. It has also been supported by organisations across the housing sector, including Shelter, the Residential Landlords Association, the National Landlord Association and the National Housing Federation.

Anne-Marie was one of many MPs on hand to see the Bill safely through its Second Reading on Friday 19th January. The Bill will now progress and be scrutinised by a Parliamentary Committee.

Anne-Marie said “I’m proud to support the ‘Fitness for Human Habitation’ Bill, which will empower renters in north Northumberland and give them a meaningful tool for getting poor and unsafe renting conditions seen to. Everyone deserves a decent and safe home to live in. Every child should be able to grow up in a home free from damp. Properties both old and new can fail to be properly ventilated, thereby leaving children in conditions that aggravate or indeed create skin and breathing health difficulties.

One of my frustrations is that the recently built or refurbished social housing for my constituents, mostly in Berwick and in Alnwick, still fails to meet the standard, despite investment for improvements. I raised one particular family in the debate and this Bill will give them and thousands of tenants in my constituency a new empowerment to get the home they deserve—from repairs that landlords refuse to complete to a properly ventilated home, free of dampness, with a good and reliable water supply, effective drainage and sanitary systems, facilities for cooking and waste disposal, and good internal arrangements that mitigate and eliminate fire risks. For colleagues with high-rise blocks, the Bill will help with the absolutely key issue of fire risk. We have the chance to support our constituents, who are newly empowered to get homes to live in of which we can all be proud”

Shelter’s Chief Executive, Polly Neate, said: “Too many private and social renters are forced to live in poor and sometimes dangerous conditions, unable to tackle safety concerns or legally challenge their landlord.

“Thanks to Anne-Marie Trevelyan and MPs from all the major parties, we are one step closer to creating a minimum safety standard for rented homes. If passed, this Bill will help to protect renters and help stop rogue landlords in their tracks”.