Labour push letting agent fee ban vote

Labour push letting agent fee ban vote

Labour announced they will attempt to push through a ban on letting agents charging fees to renting tenants, by calling a vote in the Commons.

The party is tabling an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill on Tuesday and leader Ed Miliband said his party was standing up for “generation rent”.

Mr Miliband outlined his party’s plans to fight for a "fairer deal" for tenants who rent earlier this month.

But Paul Smith, CEO at haart, the UK’s largest independent estate agent, said: “This is nothing but an empty political PR stunt. Tenants receive a very good service, mostly to protect them and their interests, both physical and financial and to ensure they have security of tenancy.

“That service comes at a real cost to agents and if we are unable to charge as an industry, there is a real danger agents will cut corners and reduce the quality of administration, which is exactly opposite what we believe is right; tenants deserve to be protected, but have to understand that comes at a small cost.

“Tenants’ fees include the cost of referencing…If the tenant doesn’t pay for this service upfront it will not simply disappear — instead it will become part of the monthly rent if the costs are transferred to the landlord. Will the Labour Party also seek to implement this ban on lettings for commercial lets too?”

At Prime Minister’s Question Time on Wednesday, David Cameron hinted that he could work with Labour on its other proposals for longer term tenancy agreements in the future, but he rejected blanket rent controls.

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