Amoral land­lords held to ac­count

Herald Express - - Letters & Opinion -

A BILL mak­ing it eas­ier for ten­ants to act if their home is not up to stan­dard cleared the Com­mons on Fri­day.

Lo­cal coun­cils have pow­ers to pros­e­cute land­lords who fail to carry out ba­sic re­pairs. Yet this process can take time and is based on reach­ing a crim­i­nal stan­dard of proof.

The new law will im­ply a term into res­i­den­tial leases al­low­ing ac­tion to be taken in the civil courts, in­clud­ing against lo­cal coun­cils who are land­lords. The stan­dards re­quired of land­lords stay the same.

This bill will not have any im­pact on most land­lords who pro­vide de­cent prop­er­ties at rea­son­able prices, hence it was backed by the Res­i­den­tial Land­lords As­so­ci­a­tion and the Na­tional Land­lord As­so­ci­a­tion. Yet it is an ad­di­tional method to deal with those who at­tempt to rent prop­er­ties which do not even meet the most ba­sic stan­dard of be­ing “fit for hu­man habi­ta­tion”.

RE­LI­GIOUS FREE­DOM DAY

Oc­to­ber 27 is In­ter­na­tional Re­li­gious Free­dom Day when peo­ple are en­cour­aged to speak out for the right of all to freely choose their faith, with a de­bate held an­nu­ally in Par­lia­ment to mark it.

There were ex­cel­lent speeches from MPs of all par­ties dur­ing it, but one which stood out was that of Fabian Hamil­ton. His great-grand­mother was mur­dered by the Nazis due to her Jewish faith.

Dur­ing my speech I high­lighted the brav­ery some show to fol­low their faith in the most op­pres­sive con­di­tions, in­clud­ing a se­cret church which met in the toi­let of a North Korean labour camp.

North Korea tops the world watch list for per­se­cu­tion of Chris­tians. Re­li­gious per­se­cu­tion go­ing hand in hand with the re­pres­sion of all other lib­er­ties in the Com­mu­nist state.

The an­nual de­bate on its own will not change the sit­u­a­tion in coun­tries like North Korea, but if it in­spires one per­son be­ing per­se­cuted for their faith to know oth­ers are think­ing of their plight it is worth it.

FISH­ERIES BILL LAUNCHED

The EU’s Com­mon Fish­eries Pol­icy (CFP) is loathed by many fish­er­men and as Brexit ap­proaches the end of its ap­pli­ca­tion to UK wa­ters is in sight.

Last week the Gov­ern­ment launched its Fish­eries Bill, the first in decades Par­lia­ment will con­sider with­out hav­ing to com­ply with the pro­vi­sions of the CFP.

The bill looks to the time when the UK will exit the CFP and sets the le­gal ba­sis for do­ing so.

The in­tro­duc­tion of this bill marks a mile­stone as it is the sec­ond bill, fol­low­ing the Agri­cul­ture Bill, where the Gov­ern­ment pro­poses sig­nif­i­cant changes in pol­icy which can only hap­pen af­ter Brexit.

SURGERY TIMES

My next surg­eries will be on Fri­day, No­vem­ber 2, from 3pm till 5pm at The Wind­mill Cen­tre, Pen­den­nis Road, Torquay, TQ2 7QB and Fri­day, No­vem­ber 16, from 3pm till 5pm at Paignton Bap­tist Church, Win­ner St, Paignton, TQ3 3BJ

Call 01803 214 989 or e-mail me at kevin@kev­in­j­fos­ter.com to book a slot. You can drop in, but ap­point­ments are rec­om­mended to avoid a long wait or dis­ap­point­ment. My team also runs drop-in surgery ses­sions Mon­day to Fri­day 10am-1pm at 5-7 East St, Torquay, TQ2 5SD.

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