"Many thanks for your recent email and for letting me know about Shelter's campaign for national landlord accreditation. I have long called for proper regulation of letting agents and landlords, so this was one of the issues I pledged to take up with the Government if elected.
One of the first Early Day Motions I signed was about regulation of the private rented sector and it reads as follows:
That this House notes with concern the Government's decision to abandon plans for a national register of landlords and further regulation of the private rented sector; recognises that the private rented sector plays a significant role in supporting the housing market in the UK; believes that rogue landlords and letting agents continue to pose a threat to consumers in the private rented sector; further notes the statistic from the Office of Fair Trading that the number of complaints against rogue landlords and letting agents is on the rise; and calls on the Government to bring forward proposals immediately to create a national register of landlords and to propose further regulation of landlords and letting agents in the private rented sector.
I have followed this up with a number of letters to the Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, about landlord discrimination in particular and the need for tenants to be better protected.
Good landlords and letting agents have nothing to fear from regulation and as a Co Chair of the All Party Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency group I am also at the forefront of the campaign to introduce mandatory minimum energy efficiency standards for private rented homes. A quarter of private tenants live in fuel poverty and twice as many private rented properties have the worst energy rating compared to the owner-occupied sector, so this is an essential element of securing better living conditions for tenants.
I have asked the Government to set up an online ratings website for private renters to provide feedback on the conduct of their landlords too, and Greens have called on the council to bring relevant organisations together to drive forward improvements in the city's private rented sector in order to deliver a fairer deal for tenants.
I have added my name to Shelter’s petition and will continue to do what I can to press for national landlord accreditation, as well as for Brighton’s own scheme to be improved and made compulsory."
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA