After years of putting pressure on the Government, on Tuesday they agreed major concessions on the Tenant Fees Bill.
We campaigned to:
- significantly limit the fees that could be charged to a tenant by their landlord or lettings agent,
- require a greater amount of transparency when deciding not to refund a holding deposit, and
- limit the maximum security deposit a landlord can require to five weeks rent.
These changes will make a huge difference to tenants – giving them savings of hundreds of pounds every year.
Many of the provisions in the Tenant Fees Bill were proposed in my Rights of Renters Private Members Bill in the last parliamentary session, and I am glad that the Government has been persuaded of the arguments in that bill.
It is the vulnerable in our society who are most affected by the extortionate fees imposed by unscrupulous landlords and lettings agencies. The inability to pay these fees upfront can even lead to terrible debts and at worst, homelessness.
While I welcomed the Government bringing forward this Bill, there were a number of loopholes that could have had severe consequences for low income tenants or tenants on benefits in the private rented sector.
There is still more work to be done to get tenants a fairer deal, but I am delighted that the Government have listened and improved this Bill. The task now is to get this change for tenants through this dysfunctional Parliament as quickly as possible before it implodes altogether!
I am grateful for the support of Shelter, Citizens Advice and Generation Rent who have worked so hard to get this Bill in the right place.
If you want to know more about the bill, Shelter has also covered the success here: citymetric.com/politics/while-everyone-was-focused-brexit-britain-s-renters-received-early-christmas-present