By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor
Conservative MPs have voted against a proposed rule that would have ensured landlords made their properties fit to live in.
Labour MP Teresa Pearce had asked for new amendments to the Housing Bill which would ensure properties were safe and kept at a decent standard.
Teresa Pearce called for the new rules to be added to the housing bill forcing private sector landlords to make their properties safe.
The Housing Bill is being pushed through Parliament as quickly as possible by the Tories leaving opposition groups running to catch up. This amendment was defeated by 219 votes, to 312, a majority of 93. Labour has also warned that almost 200,000 council properties could be lost by 2020 if the Housing Bill passes, without wide scale changes to this new Govt policy.
Teresa Pearce said: “If I purchased food from a shop and it was unsafe to eat I would not only get a refund but there is a high possibility the shopkeeper could be prosecuted.
“Yet if I rent from a landlord, perhaps the only available property for me, and it was unsafe to live in then I can either put up or shut up.
“In a market where demand outstrips supply renters lack basic consumer power to bargain for better conditions.”
Local Government Minister Marcus Jones said: “New clause 52 would result in unnecessary regulation and cost to landlords which would deter further investment and push up rents for tenants.
“Of course we believe that all homes should be of a decent standard and all tenants should have a safe place to live regardless of tenure, but local authorities already have strong and effective powers to deal with poor quality and safe accommodation and we expect them to use them.”