Results 1–20 of 693 for speaker:Heather Wheeler

Public Bill Committee: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill: Extent, commencement and short title (20 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: It seems appropriate to wrap up my comments here. It is great news that everybody on the Committee completely agrees with the Bill. In broader terms, everyone deserves a safe and decent place to live, regardless of tenure. The vast majority of landlords work hard to ensure that their tenants live in decent and properly maintained properties. The majority of tenants are satisfied with their...

Public Bill Committee: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill: Extent, commencement and short title (20 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Indeed. Interestingly, when a tenant might take a landlord to court because of a hazard, we know that 75% of those hazards are visible, such as uneven floor surfaces, excess cold or damp and so on. Where a tenant has concerns, they should ask the local authority to inspect and determine what level of hazard it is. Bodies such as Citizens Advice and Shelter can also give advice on such matters.

Public Bill Committee: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill: Extent, commencement and short title (20 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: That is exactly why we have got the fines of up to £30,000 that can be levied. As I have explained, Torbay Council has been on the front foot. It has now employed another person because of the fines it has levied and received. I think that answers the hon. Lady’s question. Councils need to step up. It was clear on Second Reading that there is wide cross-party support for the Bill...

Public Bill Committee: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill: Fitness for human habitation (20 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: It is a pleasure, Mr Wilson, to serve under your chairmanship. I congratulate the hon. Member for Westminster North on successfully taking the Bill through Second Reading and, more generally, on raising awareness about the importance of improving standards in the rented housing market. I look forward to working with her as the Bill proceeds through its many stages. We are in favour of these...

Public Bill Committee: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill: Fitness for human habitation (20 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: I, too, congratulate everyone on the Bill team and all the lawyers who have been working on this matter. This is a sensible amendment that the Government accept and are very happy to support.

Public Bill Committee: Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation and Liability for Housing Standards) Bill: Fitness for human habitation (20 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: I have nothing further to add, other than to say that we support the amendment.

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Ground Rent (20 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The Government response of 21 December 2017 to the consultation on ‘Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market’ set out a range of measures to cut out unfair and abusive practices within the leasehold system. This includes introducing legislation to prohibit the development of new build leasehold houses, other than in exceptional circumstances, and restricting ground rents...

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Mobile Homes (19 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The Department published the summary of responses to this call for evidence on 28 November 2017. The Government response will be published in the autumn. While we are aware of the concerns amongst those living in park homes about the commission rate payable on the sale of a home, this was out of scope of the review and will therefore be considered separately.

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Domestic Violence: Victims (12 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Local authorities have a duty under homelessness legislation to provide safe accommodation to a victim of domestic abuse who has had to flee their home. The Homelessness Statutory Code of Guidance provide local authorities with guidance on providing homeless services to people who experience domestic abuse or are at risk of domestic abuse. Stronger duties to secure accommodation exist for...

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Supported Housing: Finance (11 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: My Department and the Department for Work and Pensions are currently working together with local authorities to determine the overall grant budget and local grant allocations.

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Leasehold (11 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for leaseholders and freeholders in England, including the North East. We want to make it easier for existing leaseholders to exercise their right to buy their freehold, or extend their lease, quickly, fairly and cheaply and for this right to be available as soon as possible. The Government is prioritising solutions for...

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Affordable Housing (7 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The social rent formula, used to set the initial rent on the vast majority of rented social housing, takes account of relative local income levels (as well as the relative value and size of the property). The Government’s Affordable Homes Programme includes funding to support the delivery of both affordable rent and social rent homes, to help meet the needs of a range of people in...

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Leasehold (4 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: There have been 6,000 newly built homes sold on a leasehold basis in the North East between 2010 and 2016, averaging 867 per year. This compares to over 22,000 newly built homes sold on a freehold basis over the same period.

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Leasehold: Service Charges (4 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: We believe very strongly that service charges should be transparent, communicated effectively and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong. That is why on 1 April, we published the response to our recent call for evidence on ‘Protecting consumers in the letting and managing agent market’. Here proposals include establishing a working group to...

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Landlords (4 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The regulations made under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced banning orders for private landlords and property agents who have been convicted of serious housing, immigration and other criminal offences. The regulations came into force on 6 April 2018 and apply to England only. A relevant offence must have been committed on or after 6 April 2018 for a local housing authority to be...

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Housing Associations: Rents (4 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The Department does not hold this data. We understand that many landlords ask for rent in advance and it is part of the agreement between individual tenant and landlord. As responsible companies with a social purpose we expect housing associations to let their homes in a fair, transparent and efficient way that takes into account the housing needs of tenants and potential tenants.

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Leasehold: Ground Rent (4 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: Since the Government’s announcement on 21 December 2017 to limit new leases to a peppercorn rent, my Department has been engaging with a range of stakeholders as part of developing a detailed approach to implementing this policy. In addition, the Government wants to see developers and investors going further to help existing consumers with onerous ground rents, including second hand...

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Private Rented Housing: Electrical Safety (4 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The Department held a consultation exercise between 17 February 2018 and 16 April 2018 on electrical safety in the private rented sector. We received 582 responses which are currently being analysed and expect to publish the Government’s response in the Autumn.

Written Answers — Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government: Private Rented Housing: Electrical Safety (4 Jun 2018)

Heather Wheeler: The Department received a total of 582 responses to the recent consultation on electrical safety in the private rented sector, of which 45 were from local authorities.


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