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Landlord Accreditation Schemes

Volume 534: debated on Monday 31 October 2011

16. What steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to develop landlord accreditation schemes for the private rented sector; and if he will make a statement. (77110)

Good accreditation schemes can play an important role in developing a local authority’s relationship with its local landlords. Experience shows that accreditation works much better when it reflects local circumstances at local government level.

Given that it is only seven weeks until the official beginning of winter and that one of the great failures of the private sector for tenants is that it often provides badly insulated homes, what can the Government do to make sure not only that tenants stay warm but that they do not have ridiculously high fuel bills?

My right hon. Friend makes a very important point. Both fuel poverty and carbon emissions are major targets of the Government’s policy. That is why we are introducing the green deal next year, which is available to landlords for the private rented sector, and that is also why we have the energy company obligation. My right hon. Friend will know that the Energy Act 2011 provides the opportunity to introduce minimum standards in the private rented sector from 2018 if we need to go further.

Is the Minister aware of the growing trend whereby the produce of drugs sales is used to fund the private rented sector and as a means of laundering the money involved? If so, what is he going to do about it.

Clearly, if the right hon. Gentleman has evidence of that, I am sure that he will pass it to the proper authorities so that action can be taken. I am well aware that such matters will be vigorously investigated by the police and, if necessary, the Revenue.

Order. I had been advised that the hon. Member for St Ives (Andrew George) had withdrawn his question, but a simple nod of the head will suffice to reinstate him. We are grateful.