Miliband to outline landlord plans
Plans to protect tenants renting from private landlords are to be outlined in a speech by Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Speaking to the Fabian Society, Mr Miliband will propose a national register of landlords and more powers for councils to tackle rogue ones.
He will also say a confusing system of fees charged by landlords must be made easily understandable.
The speech is 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.
The plans were abandoned by the coalition, which said it did not want to impose “burdensome red tape and bureaucracy”.
But Mr Miliband will tell the annual conference of the Fabian Society, a left-wing think-tank: “We cannot have two nations divided between those who own their own homes and those who rent.
“Most people who rent have responsible landlords and rental agencies. But there are too many rogue landlords and agencies either providing accommodation which is unfit or ripping off their tenants.
“And too many families face the doubt of a two-month notice period before being evicted.
“Imagine being a parent with kids settled in a local school and your family settled in your home for two, three, four years, facing that sort of uncertainty.”
He will say the private rented sector is now bigger than the social rented sector for the first time in almost 50 years.
In total, 3.6 million households – including one million which have children – privately rent.
“Often in accommodation deemed below standard,” he will say.
BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins says that inside Labour they are hoping that this speech will help them move on from their time in office.
Mr Miliband will say that “One Nation Labour” has “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.
“It did not do enough to change the rules of the game that were holding our economy back.”
He will also say that New Labour was too timid in enforcing rights and responsibilities and too sanguine about the consequences of free markets.
“Learning from our history, One Nation Labour is clear that we need to do more to create a society where everyone genuinely plays their part.”