Observers of the second reading of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill were shocked that Tory MP Philip Davies – himself an ‘accidental’ landlord – spoke out against plans to impose further regulation on landlords.
The Bill, introduced by Labour MP Karen Buck, would update a 19th century law that requires homes to be “fit for human habitation”, but only if under a certain rent limit – annual rent of below £80 in London and £52 elsewhere – a limit last updated in 1957. The current average weekly rent in London is £362, which according to the Institute of Negligible Numbers puts the amount of properties affected by the current rent limit as somewhere between Sod All and Bugger All, a fraction referred to by imaginary mathematicians as Sogger All.
At the second reading of the bill, Mr Davies said of additional regulation that “all it does is pass on a huge burden to landlords who have to work out whether they are complying with the law today compared with what it was yesterday.” Or, indeed, compared to what it was almost six decades ago.
“It’s surprising,” said politically-naïve head-scratcher Jonny Tenure, “that an MP who is also a landlord would use his position as an MP to make his life easier as a landlord”, a sentiment seemingly shared by many since the reading.
“I guess I can see how my complaining about crippling mould or not having any heating could be a burden, though” Mr Tenure continued. “As Philip says, landlords do have a lot of i’s to dot and t’s to cross. You can’t expect them to make every property they rent out fit to live in – even if they do only own one by accident.”
‘Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill’ discussion in full, 24dash, Online: http://www.24dash.com/news/housing/2015-10-16-Homes-Fitness-for-Human-Habitation-Bill-discussion-in-full, Available: October 2015
Landlord Tory MP Philip Davies says UK law requiring homes be fit for human habitation is an unnecessary burden, The Independent, Online: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/landlord-tory-mp-philip-davies-law-requiring-homes-be-fit-for-human-habitation-unnecessary-a6696931.html, Available: October 2015
Law to require homes fit for human habitation is ‘huge burden’ and ‘unnecessary’, says Tory MP, Metro, Online: http://metro.co.uk/2015/10/16/homes-fit-for-human-habitation-bill-is-huge-burden-on-landlords-says-tory-mp-5444758/, Available: October 2015