Alan Whitehead

Labour MP for Southampton Test

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Alan calls on DCLG to improve housing standards in the private rented sector

In a debate on the private rented sector, Alan Whitehead MP today blasted DCLG for failing to “get their act together” to pass legislation to improve the quality of rented housing. 

There are around 25, 000 privately rented homes in Southampton – about a quarter of all the properties in the city. And half that number are houses in multiple occupation where tenants are let part of a house or a room.  

Renters in Southampton are now paying on average £1000 more a year in rent than they did in 2010. In many cases they face rip-off charges by letting agents, unpredictable jumps in their rent, insecure tenancies and poor quality housing.

Alan also recently called on the Prime Minister to explain why the Government had not included measures to tackle sky-high rents and insecure tenancies in the Queen’s Speech but did not receive any serious assurance from the David Cameron.  

Speaking during the debate Alan said:

There are many first class landlords in Southampton…that really look after the people who come to them for lets. But the point is that the nature of the rented market at the moment, couched as it is in insecurity, means that there is always the fear among renters that [unreasonable behaviour by landlords to their tenants] may happen to them”

There needs to be a basic understanding that homes will be fit to live in when rents and tenancies are agreed…so why is DCLG trying to stop this happening?”

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