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Letter: Tories fail to take on rogue landlords

Sir: Your otherwise accurate report of Labour's Housing Conference ( 6 March) contained one error in respect of leasehold reform.

It is not true that the "right to manage", which Labour advocates, is already in the Housing Bill going through Parliament. Although it is widely recognised by leaseholders as the most effective remedy against rogue landlords, the Government has refused to legislate for a "right to manage".

This refusal is all the more curious given their introduction of a "right to manage" for council tenants. The only explanation for denying leaseholders similar rights is the Tory Party's unwillingness to challenge the big landowners. This reluctance to take on powerful vested interests explains the failure of all their previous leasehold reform proposals. It would be tragic if once again the protection of leaseholders were subordinated to the Tory Party's self-interest.

Labour will be seeking to amend the Housing Bill to incorporate the "right to manage".

Nick Raynsford MP

(Greenwich, Lab)

London SW1