New figures published today by the Labour Party reveal that tenants in the East Midlands face upfront fees and deposits of £893 on average – before they even start paying rent. When rent is included the average upfront cost to tenants increases to £1,430.
Labour’s survey of letting agents also revealed:
- Half of letting agents are not transparent about their fees on their website and two in 10 failed to reveal their fees after being contacted.
- Some letting agents charge as much as £606 for an administration fee.
- Check in and inventory fees were as high as £234.
- Charges just for a new contract (renewal fees) were as high as £180.
- Charges just for changing a name on a contract (occupancy change) were as high as £354.
With 11 million people, including 1.5 million families with children, now living in the private rented sector, Labour has issued a fresh call for a better deal for private tenants by:
· Banning letting agent fees charged to tenants;
· Legislating for three-year stable tenancies;
· A ceiling on rent rises over the course of those contracts.
Labour is also calling on the Government to ensure that transparency of fees is robustly enforced.
Emma Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, said:
“The Tory plan is failing working families in the East Midlands. Renters face thousands of pounds in upfront costs but in return they get no stability, poor standards and they have to pay hundreds of pounds in rip-off letting agent fees.
“The Tories have nothing to offer Generation Rent but empty promises and more of the same polices that have delivered the lowest levels of house building in peace time since the 1920s.
“Labour has a better plan for working families. We will give private renters a better deal. A Labour Government will ban letting agent fees on tenants, introduce three-year stable tenancies, and put a ceiling on rent rises over the course of the contracts. Labour will also tackle the root causes of this crisis by getting at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020.”