Thursday, 3 July 2014

Labour candidate seeks to abolish letting fees

Cat Smith, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, has backed Labour plans for a better deal for those renting their homes privately.

In an Opposition Day debate in the House of Commons forced by Labour in June, Labour called on the Government to stand up for 'generation rent' by backing Labour’s reform plans in a vote in Parliament. However it was always a long shot to expect a government of millionaires to empathise with the plight of less pampered tenants.

Ms Smith promised that "the next Labour government will act to ban letting agents’ fees for tenants, and will legislate to make three year tenancies with predictable rents the standard in the private rented sector to give people who rent the certainty they need."

Letting fees from local property letting agencies can cost a prospective tenant in the region of £300 before they can obtain a contract, in addition to deposits. Competing applicants for rental properties must pay heavy fees for credit checks, which even when they are passed, may not result in a contract.

It's a very costly and stressful gamble, when tenants also face moving expenses and the threat of homelessness. It means that the greater a household's need, the more heavily they are exposed to risk from predatory commercial practices.


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