England: Theresa May speech on housing: renters must be treated like ‘human beings’

Renters must be treated like “human beings”, the Prime Minister urged today as she pledged to protect tenants from exploitative landlords and “cowboy agents”.

In a flagship speech on housing, Theresa May hit out at public and private sector landlords and lettings companies who she claimed have treated tenants as cash-cows and ignored standards.

“Whether you’re renting by choice or necessity, you’re not any less of a person for doing so and you should not be treated as such,” Mrs May said today, as she said solving the housing shortage was a personal mission. Tenants are all too often seen as an inconvenient commercial necessity rather than as individuals with rights and needs.”

In a wide-ranging speech at the National Planning Conference on how the Conservatives plan on tackling the country’s housing crisis, she said planning rules would be ripped up to allow some homeowners to build extensions without planning permission.

For renters she said plans are underway to investigate longer tenancies, ban almost all letting fees and said the Government will support “fit for human habitation” laws that would apply to all landlords.

She said: “With no regulation in property management, the door has been open to cowboy agents – with tenants, leaseholders, freeholders and honest agents all paying the price.”



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