MPs have voted in favour of a Bill that hands more power to tenants and will allow them to sue landlords over poor housing, taking it an important step closer to becoming law.
It marks a personal victory for Labour MP Karen Buck, who has twice previously tried to introduce a Private Members Bill on the issue without success.
Following an announcement last weekend from Secretary of State for Housing Sajid Javid, the Government has thrown its weight behind the Bill, increasing its chances of success.
The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill was subsequently debated in Parliament today.
MPs voted unanimously to pass the Bill this morning in the House of Commons.
It now moves to the Committee stage, where detailed examination of the Bill takes place.
The Bill seeks to amend the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to require that residential rented accommodation is provided and maintained in a state of fitness for human habitation.
It has the support of some landlords’ groups, including the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
Earlier this week, RLA vice-chair Douglas Haig told EYE: “Ultimately, if we look sensibly at things, what it is asking for is what most landlords would already expect to be law.
“The concern that landlords are inevitably going to have is that tenants are now going to be able to enforce things themselves. We don’t disagree with this but the last thing we want is stealth action by tenants trying to get compensation from landlords.