The State should have the powers to seize properties from bad landlords, says MP Helen Hayes.

The Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood told Parliament’s housing, communities and local government committee: “A family with very small children living in poor-quality rented accommodation in my constituency were recently evicted after they complained that the ceiling in the bathroom had collapsed over the bath shortly after they had finished bathing their children.

“I have no doubt that the next tenant is now living in that property, and that it is the taxpayer who is lining that landlord’s pockets by paying the rent.”

She asked MP Clive Betts, who chairs the House of Commons housing, communities and local government committee: “Does my hon. Friend agree that it is entirely appropriate for this report to make the recommendation that, in such despicable circumstances, the state should have the power to remove such properties from those landlords so that they can be returned to good use for families who need high-quality accommodation?

“Will he join me in calling on the Minister to progress that recommendation?”

Responding Mr  Betts said: “Absolutely. “We heard that many landlords do an excellent job. “There are some who do not do it quite as well as others, and there are some who are basically criminals—the word “rogue” is used, but they are basically criminals.

“They are exploiting both the tenant and the taxpayer.

“In those extreme circumstances, the ultimate power of not merely banning them from operating as a landlord, but taking that property off them, is something we hope the Government will seriously consider.”

Sources: TheyWorkForYou / Hansard: Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee – in the House of Commons at 10:41 am on 19th April 2018.


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