LibLink: Olly Grender: The sooner the Renters’ Rights Bill becomes law, the sooner tenants get a fair deal

A bill going through its final parliamentary stages cuts letting agents’ fees for tenants. This is down to the hard work of Lib Dem Peers, mainly Olly Grender. She writes for Politics Home about what this will mean for people:

When I first proposed this change in 2016 through a Private Member’s Bill, it was a flat “no” from the Conservative Government.  However, they could not keep ignoring the overwhelming evidence that people on low incomes or benefits who were renting privately were being ripped off with shocking admin fees.

The worst part is that families who are evicted or cannot afford a rent rise are pushed into homelessness by the astronomical up-front admin fees.  The option to move is not feasible, as even when they try to move to a cheaper home, agents were charging both landlord and tenant these up-front fees. With homelessness continuing to rise, and the leading cause being the end of a private rented sector tenancy, it is clear reform is needed – and fast. This is why this Bill is so vitally important. The double dip with both landlord and tenant being charged these extortionate fees will soon be a thing of the past and this change in the law cannot come soon enough.

Often the argument from the industry was that this was an unworkable model but there are many lettings agencies who have already banned admin fees and got ahead of the law.  Their success suggests that it is possible to scrap fees and run a sustainable letting agency.  After all, it is the landlords who are the customer, who can shop around and find the best deal, not the tenant who is desperate to find somewhere decent to live, near work and schools with a decent landlord.

There will be also be other fundamental changes brought in by this Bill.  Deposit for rent is now 5 weeks instead of 6 a significant difference of on average £150 – peanuts to your renting Russian Oligarch, but the difference between food on the plates or nothing for those on low incomes.

The final change Olly secured was greater transparency if a deposit is not returned.

You can read her whole article here. 

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One Comment

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Dec '18 - 2:39pm

    First of all, thanks to Olly Grender and co for terrific work.

    Then let’s have more of it on these and so many important issues, the party does so much that is good on, that gets so little media attention, and is promoted in too tedious a way too, by the party sometimes.

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