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Posted on February 2nd 2015 by admin-movingin

Tory MP says private lets must meet Decent Homes Standard

Conservative MP Laura Sandys says the government should extend its Decent Homes Standard to the private rental sector after claiming “some properties in my constituency are not fit for humans”.

Sandys – who in May is standing down as the Tory member for Thanet South – has lobbied the government to put homes in the private rental sector on the same footing as all council owned and housing association properties, which are obliged to comply with the Decent Homes Standard.

“Why should privately rented accommodation not meet safety standards; or not be in a reasonable state of repair; or not have reasonably modern facilities and services; or not provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort? Why should those who have to rent privately have any different level of comfort or have to pay double for their energy compared to those who live in council properties?” Sandys writes on the Conservative Home website.

“It is perverse that we set up elaborate Government schemes to get better energy efficiency when improvements to the standard of the housing itself would help those in greater fuel poverty. Because it is not people who leak energy: it is homes that are badly insulated” she claims.

In her local newspaper, the Kent Messenger, Sandys claims that “some properties in my constituency are not fit for humans – you can smell the damp long before you get through the door. This creates risks to their health and has dramatic consequences for their life chances, impacting attainment at school and at work.”

Sandys says obliging landlords to submit their properties to inspection to meet the Decent Homes Standard would ultimately create a lower turnover of tenants and help make the private rental sector fit for purpose in a society where many renters now have families and are older, rather than just the popular image of young and single tenants.

“We must start putting in place clear expectations for the properties rented in this sector, addressing the quality as well as the quantity of our nation’s housing” she says.