John backs second bill to help renters

FORMER housing minister John Healey has backed a second bill calling for letting agents to be regulated.

He has supported a private members’ bill calling for regulation, deposit protection, better energy efficiency in rented properties and the involvement of local councils in private letting.

It overlaps with Mr Healey’s own bill which, if enacted, would introduce a licensing scheme for letting agents and ban rip-off fees for renters. His bill, introduced in June, has cross-party support and backing from housing charities and industry bodies. It will be back in the Commons early next year.

The MP for Wentworth & Dearne said: “Major change is needed in the private rented sector, and self regulation isn’t working.

“More than 25,000 homes in Rotherham and Barnsley are rented from a private landlord. But we have better consumer rights when buying a fridge or hiring a car than we do when renting a home.

“Millions of people can’t afford the home they want, so the cost of housing is central to the cost of living crisis.”