Rented Accommodation (Insulation)

Energy and Climate Change – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 16th September 2010.

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Photo of Lilian Greenwood Lilian Greenwood Labour, Nottingham South 10:30 am, 16th September 2010

What recent steps he has taken to improve the insulation of private rented accommodation.

Photo of Christopher Huhne Christopher Huhne Liberal Democrat, Eastleigh

The recently announced green deal should go a long way toward solving the problem of split incentives that has hampered progress in the private rented sector. It will remove the need for landlords to pay up-front costs for measures that they do not directly benefit from and will therefore make some real progress in this area.

Photo of Lilian Greenwood Lilian Greenwood Labour, Nottingham South

I thank the Secretary of State for his response, but old, cold and poorly insulated is the state of many private rented properties in Nottingham South, which are home to 16,000 households, including some of the most vulnerable families in the country. Will he match Labour's commitment to regulate landlords and so tackle these issues, or will his Government once again put the interests of private landlords above those of tenants and communities?

Photo of Christopher Huhne Christopher Huhne Liberal Democrat, Eastleigh

The hon. Lady takes her seat in the House following the distinguished contributions of her predecessor on all these issues, and I am delighted that she retains his interest in these matters. I assure her that the Government are absolutely determined to try to make progress on fuel poverty and to deal with the scandal that when we have a cold winter a large number of old and vulnerable people are pushed into an early death through lack of heat. We need to try to deal with that as fast as we can. I merely remind her that, although she is new in the House, she succeeds an MP who was here for 13 years supporting a Government who made precious little progress in this area.