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Private Rented Housing

Volume 511: debated on Thursday 10 June 2010

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her question. It is important that we strike the right balance between tenants and landlords. The current legislative framework, which I have been looking at closely, does exactly that. We therefore have no plans to take forward the previous Government’s ideas about further regulatory measures on this subject.

I thank the Minister for that answer. In light of the massive budget cuts announced in the Department, can he assure me that there will be no threat to the measures that the then Government introduced and, indeed, confirm that the Government have no plans to reverse the further powers that Labour has given to councils to introduce local licensing schemes, because in my experience, in my constituency, people want more regulation, not less?

In my experience, in my constituency and across the country, people also want a good supply of private rented sector property. Of course, getting that balance right is important. I share the hon. Lady’s concern about the extent to which homes in multiple occupation sometimes become a blight on an area. I confirm that we do not plan to overturn the rules that the previous Government introduced, but we will look at them in more detail.

We already face new planning applications for large-scale and inappropriate housing development in and immediately around my constituency. The Secretary of State’s letter to local authorities has been helpful, but what further steps should local authorities such as mine take to revise their housing growth figures, which now seem utterly outdated?

I thank my hon. Friend for pointing out that many communities feel put upon due to the regional spatial strategies and many other centrally imposed items. We will ensure—

Order. The right hon. Gentleman is seeking to respond to the question, but it is outwith the terms of that on the Order Paper.

What discussions has the Minister held with landlord organisations about possible changes to the capital gains tax regime as it relates to private landlords?

That is a matter for the Treasury, but the hon. Gentleman will not have to wait long because the emergency Budget, which has been made necessary by the previous Government’s profligacy, will be on 22 June.