EXCL 700,000 children are living in dangerous rented homes, Labour analysis reveals

Posted On: 
18th January 2018

Almost 700,000 children in England are living in unsafe rented homes, PoliticsHome can reveal. 

700,000 children in England are living in unsafe rented homes, according to new Labour analysis
Credit: 
PA

New analysis by the Labour party highlights the shocking number of kids living in properties categorised as dangerous due to unsafe electrics, vermin infestations, or insufficient fire safety measures.  

According to the figures, there are over 1m unsafe rented homes in England – with 691,693 children subject to conditions that pose a serious threat to their health or safety.

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The revelation comes after the Government backed plans which will force landlords to make homes ‘fit for human habitation’.

The legislation, put forward by Labour MP Karen Buck will give tenants the power to take legal action if their property doesn’t meet basic standards.

The move signals a marked change in the Government’s stance as ministers have resisted previous attempts to toughen up the law in this area.

It follows an outcry over standards in rented accommodation after the Grenfell Tower fire last year, which killed 71 people.

In the wake of the tragedy, survivors accused the council of ignoring warnings from residents and ministers have since pledged financial support to local authorities for essential fire safety measures.

Shadow Housing Secretary John Healey said: “Our homes are at the centre of our family lives but at the moment renters too often don’t have the basic rights that we take for granted in other areas.

“In practice you have fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge-freezer, and decisions made by Conservative Ministers have made it easier for bad landlords to let unfit homes. As a result, too many children are living in downright dangerous housing.

“After the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, it’s even more important that we ensure all homes are fit for human habitation.”  

Ms Buck’s Private Member’s Bill will be debated in the Commons tomorrow.

Announcing his support for the legislation on Monday, Housing Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live. Councils already have wide-ranging powers to crack down on the minority of landlords who rent out unsafe and substandard accommodation.

“However, public safety is paramount and I am determined to do everything possible to protect tenants.

“That is why Government will support new legislation that requires all landlords to ensure properties are safe and give tenants the right to take legal action if landlords fail in their duties.”