Miliband outlines landlord plans
Labour leader Ed Miliband has outlined his party’s plans to make the housing market fairer for people who rent their homes privately.
In a speech to the Fabian Society, he said Britain was in danger of having two nations, of homeowners and tenants.
He proposed a national register of landlords and more powers for councils to tackle rogue ones.
The speech was intended to flesh out the idea of a one-nation party, which was unveiled at Labour’s conference.
A “national register” of landlords – which already exists in Scotland – was proposed under the last Labour government.
But this was abandoned by the coalition which said it did not want to impose “burdensome red tape and bureaucracy”.
Mr Miliband told the annual conference of the Fabian Society think-tank: “One Nation Labour is about giving proper rights and protections to those who rent.
“That’s why we will root out rogue landlords, we will stop people from being ripped off by letting agents and we want to give new security to families who rent.”
He said a Labour government would introduce a national register of landlords and end “confusing, inconsistent fees and charges” in the private rented sector.
It would also give greater security to families who rent and remove the barriers preventing longer term tenancies, he pledged.
“For many families at the moment who are renting in the private rented sector – and there are more than a million families in this position – they face a situation where they may have lived in a house for three, four, five years or more, be sending their kids to the local school, and then find that they can be kicked out at just two months’ notice,” he said.
“That is wrong and we have to change it, and give proper rights to people in the private rented sector.”
BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins said Labour was hoping the speech would help it move on from its time in office.
Mr Miliband also said “One Nation Labour” had “learnt the lessons” of the financial crisis.
“It begins from the truth that New Labour did not do enough to bring about structural change in our economy to make it work for the many, not just the few.”
He also said New Labour was too timid in enforcing rights and responsibilities and too sanguine about the consequences of free markets.