Shock as landlord MP exploits position as MP to block further landlord regulation

Tory MP Philip Davies, who also happens to be a landlord, shocks the media by using his position as an MP to argue against more landlord regulation.

Tory MP Philip Davies, who also happens to be a landlord, shocks the media by using his position as an MP to argue against a law that would affect landlords.

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.”

References

‘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

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3 comments

  1. I strongly disagree with your assertion here Neil that an MP would use their position to further their personal financial interests. If this was the case we would have seen moves to cut taxes for the rich and the sale of public assets at discounts to their acquaintances.

    MPs are there to serve the public first and foremost. Only then will they consider having their moat cleaned.

    On a serious note though, why shouldn’t we have a system with a freeze on their personal assets whilst they remain in office similar to how I think it works for the US President?

  2. Philip Davies has valiantly served the public good before – roughly this time last year he filibustered out a proposed bill to protect PRS tenants from retaliatory evictions. His moat must be super clean.

    There’s a weird attitude towards being a landlord in this country. It’s a JOB, not a passive source of income like many want to believe. It’s an odd understanding wrapped up in our warped view of what property is; a financial asset, rather than shelter or a home.

    The ‘freeze on personal assets’ idea sounds good, Kevin! I can’t help feeling such a proposal would be talked out too, though…

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