A HAMPSHIRE MP is calling for a fairer deal for renters in Southampton who are paying £1,000 a year more than they were just four years ago.
Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, has blasted the Department for Communities and Local Government for failing to “get their act together”
when it comes to protecting renters.
In a debate at the House of Commons, the MP criticised the Government department for not passing legislation to improve the quality of rented housing.
There are around 25,000 privately rented homes in Southampton – which is about a quarter of all the properties in the city.
And half that number – around 12,000 – are houses of multiple occupation where tenants are let part of a house or a room to live in.
With renters in Southampton now paying on average £1,000 more a year in rent than they did in 2010, Mr Whitehead wants action to be taken to ensure everyone gets a fair deal for the money they are paying. Mr Whitehead wants changes made to stop renters facing rip-off charges by letting agents, unpredictable jumps in their rent, insecure tenancies and poor quality housing.
He also recently called on the Prime Minister to explain why the Government had not included measures to tackle sky-high rents and insecure tenancies in the Queen’s Speech, but he has so far received no serious assurances from David Cameron.
Speaking during the debate, Mr Whitehead said: “There are many first class landlords in Southampton that really look after the people who come to them for lets.
“But the point is that the nature of the rented market at the moment, couched as it is in insecurity, means that there is always the fear among renters that [unreasonable behaviour by landlords towards their tenants] may happen to them.”
“There needs to be a basic understanding that homes will be fit to live in when rent and tenancies are agreed, so why is the Department for Communities and Local Government trying to stop this from happening?”