Rogue landlords are ‘b*st*rds’ and ought not to have such a cuddly nickname, says a government minister.
In fact, Housing under-secretary Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth thinks the name should be even worse but declined to say exactly what when speaking at a House of Lords debate of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill.
“This fairly short Bill builds on work we have been doing to improve housing conditions and tackle rogue landlords,” he said.
“I must say that, although I am as guilty of using it as anyone else, I wish we could get away from the phrase ‘rogue landlords’ because it tends to make them sound a little too cuddly for my liking. ‘B*st*rd landlords’ or something stronger would probably be more appropriate because they are far from being cuddly.”
He was speaking as the Lords discussed the Bill that gives tenants the right to sue landlords if their homes fall below a minimum standard.
The Bill still must go through the committee stage before receiving royal assent, but is expected to become law in Summer 2019.
Although the Bill was put before Parliament as a private member’s bill by Labour MP for Westminster North Karen Buck, the government is backing the draft to become law.
“[My Bill] will enable all tenants to take action and seek redress on the same issues and at the same standards as can local authorities. This doesn’t create a new regulatory burden – it is a strengthening of tenants’ rights,” she wrote in The House, a Parliamentary newsletter.
“Backed by a wide range of organisations, it will mean tenants can take action against their landlord to make them put right problems or hazards that make the property unfit, and seek compensation when they don’t.”
Paul Shamplina, Founder of Landlord Action, responded to Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth’s remarks on Twitter by asking;
“Landlords, having read this – what do you think bad tenants should be called? I’m talking about the ones that fail to pay rent on purpose, trash the property, put it on Airbnb without consent, use it as a brothel/cannabis factory…”
Respondents to the Twitter poll found that 50 per cent of respondents said they should be called ‘criminal tenants’, followed by 29 per cent voting in favour of ‘#$@&%*!? tenants’, 17 per cent saying they should be called ‘nightmare tenants’ and a further four per cent saying ‘bastard tenants’.
There is clear debate within the industry on how to best tackle industry rogues from both sides. Read more about how industry experts believe we should tackle industry rogues here.