Theresa May Called Upon to Take Action Against Absentee Landlords

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There have been calls for Theresa May to crack down on landlords who allow their properties to fall into disrepair.

Easington MP Grahame Morris has encouraged Theresa May to visit his constituency in County Durham in order to urge her to target the rogue landlords who he feels are failing his local area.

Complaints have been lodged that landlords are purchasing large blocks of properties but failing to take care of them. This degrades the surrounding area. Combatting this is a problem for local authorities, as many of the investors do not live locally. Theresa May has therefore been urged to crack down on the landlords who allow their uninhabited investments to fall into disrepair.

Mr Morris highlighted the problem in the House of Commons. He said: ‘Will she acknowledge the massive problems in the private rented sector with absentee private landlords? Will she commit to come to visit Easington to gain her own appreciation of the scale of the problems that face many working-class communities?’

Mr Morris is calling for new laws which would place landlords under legal obligation to ensure all rental accommodation is fit for human habitation. Whilst Mrs May did not respond to the invitation to visit Easington, she did assert that Labour’s housing policies would further damage the private rented sector.

She said: ‘We do need to ensure that we have a good private rented sector in this country, but the one set of policies that would damage the private rented sector are the policies put forward by the Leader of the Opposition.’

This is not the first time that Mr Morris has raised the problem of absentee landlords. He warned in a Commons debate in 2015 of ‘absentee landlords with no interest in the community buying and letting substandard properties to maximise their return and get a quick profit from housing benefit.’

Whilst the issue does not apply to all landlords, a select few have allowed their investments to deteriorate, which means the quality of the entire neighbourhood declines.

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