Covid has led to many campaigns to help tenants and landlords survive the pandemic, but Labour has taken the biscuit with its latest effort.
The party is urging HMO landlords to only rent rooms out if they are en-suite, and to under-take weekly deep-cleans of their properties.
The idea has been floated by its Northampton wing, whose leader Danielle Stone (pictured) has raised concerns that HMOs in the city, where tenants live communally sharing both washing, toilet and cooking facilities, are helping spread the virus.
“All HMOs should be en-suites. Strangers sharing bathrooms makes Covid-secure hygiene impossible. It makes social isolation, sheltering, or quarantining next-to impossible,” she said.
“Where different households share an entrance way and communal areas there should be a requirement for landlords to undertake a weekly deep clean.”
Her comments follow the infamous Greencore foodplant ‘super-spreading’ incident which, in part, was blamed on many of its workforce living in the same HMOs, but also car-sharing to work.
The city has some 1,0000 large and small HMOs registered within its mandatory and additional licensing schemes, and Stone has said that some landlords’ sloppy approach to providing hygienic facilities is helping create Covid-spreading traps.
“In this day and age it should be taken for granted that everyone should have access to their own bathrooms,” she told local media.
Her party has also gone a step further and urged local landlords to ‘be responsible’ and only rent out rooms within their HMOs if they have en-suite bathrooms until the pandemic dies down.
“In Northampton we have many families living in overcrowded conditions. This means parents and children are on top of each other, without adequate storage, room to play, room to study,” says Stone.