Labour administration will strengthen tenants’ rights

Besi Besemar July 7, 2014

Cllr Chaun Wilson
Cllr Chaun Wilson

Labour unveils plans to strengthen tenants’ rights in Brighton and Hove

Labour in Brighton and Hove have unveiled radical plans to strengthen tenantsā€™ rights and root out unscrupulous landlords across the City if elected next May. The party has confirmed it will consult on the introduction of a licensing regime for all private sector accommodation across the City.

The proposals, based on the successful scheme currently in operation in Newham, where over 30,000 licences have been issued since February 2013, would see landlords pay a small fee for a five year licence to rent their property out.

To receive a licence, landlords would have to demonstrate their ability to maintain their property to standards agreedĀ with the Council and woulod be required to put in place robust tenancy management arrangements, giving more safeguards and greater protection to tenants across the City.

Commenting on the proposals, Councillor Chaun Wilson, Labourā€™s Housing Spokesperson, said:Ā “With the largest private rented sector in England outside London, it is only right we look at measures to strengthen tenants’ rights and protect them from poor quality housing. Building on the proposals previously announced by Ed Miliband, this would bring much-needed stability and security to those living in the private rented sector. This again demonstrates the positive difference electing a Labour Government in 2015 would bring to people living in Brighton and Hove.”

If introduced, Labour would look to align the new licensing regime with the existing scheme in operation for HMOs for certain wards in the City, to ensure the same standards are also enforced for housing rented out to students.

The Council would have the power to fine landlords who fail to register with the scheme and recover any rents or housing benefits paid while a property was not licensed. In Newham, where the scheme has been operating for the past year, the Council has successfully taken action against over 100 landlords flouting the new rules, curbing anti-social behaviour and crime associated with poor quality accommodation.