It’s quite a straightforward questionnaire, and respondents can click through to as many or as few of the 11 sections as they like.
I mention that because it would be great if you would also take part!
The survey covers key areas, including housing for families, housing for a range of groups, and affordability.
The page titled “private rented sector” is of particular importance for my constituency, where the number of people in private rented accommodation is roughly double the national average.
The questions on this page include: “Would the introduction of a register of all private sector landlords in the city be a good idea?”
My answer to that is a resounding “yes”.
This is based on the experience of hearing time and again from constituents about the poor state of their rented housing: the families with children whose bedrooms have mould on the walls; the students who find paint peeling to reveal damp within a few months of moving in; the tenants who come to me after their landlord has refused to carry out repairs.
A register of landlords, linked to a mandatory licensing scheme, would introduce standards and improve quality, highlighting the many responsible landlords and pulling up the standards of those whose currently poor practice gives private sector renting a bad name.
In Parliament in 2012 I proposed a landlord accreditation Bill that would have brought about licensing of landlords, requiring local authorities to operate schemes that meet minimum standards.
The Bill didn’t gain the cross-party support it needed but I’ve carried on campaigning for better protection for tenants and in my recently published Housing Charter I call for a national register of landlords. So I’m delighted to see the idea of a local register gaining support and that Brighton and Hove Council is taking the initiative now to consult on a citywide scheme.
Influential housing charity Shelter supports landlord registration, as does tenants’ group Generation Rent, which is hosting a petition on its website -http://www.generationrent.org/landlord_registration_petition.
The Labour Party also supports a register of landlords.
We should build on this common ground to work together for better housing – in this case, for better quality in the private rented sector – so I hope that Labour will support the proposal for a local register too.
To have your say on a local register of landlords, affordability, and the other areas covered in the consultation see http://consult.brighton-hove.gov.uk/portal/bhcc/housing/hs2014_3.