§ Mr. Rendel
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans he has to extend the scope of the citizens charter to cover the quality and safety of public sector and private sector rented accommodation.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
From 1 April 1994, local authority tenants in England will enjoy new citizens charter rights to have repairs carried out and a right to be compensated for certain improvements they have made when their tenancy expires. Also from 1 April, tenants will have the statutory right to manage their homes, which with the extension of the council tenants charter to housing management, will raise the standards of council housing management. Comparable arrangements will come into effect in Scotland—subject to the separate consultation exercise being carried out by the Scottish Office—Wales and Northern Ireland.
These will be set out in an updated council tenants charter. Similar rights to repair and compensation will be introduced for housing association tenants through a revised tenants' guarantee. Where building work is involved in both private and public sectors, reasonable provision for health and safety is ensured through the building regulations.
The citizens charter does not extend to private landlords, but codes of practice on the management of 16W residential property in the private sector are being prepared by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Association of Residential Housing Managers.