Sadiq Khan, the London mayor, has written to the Prime Minister, Theresa May, the Organizations Crisis, Generation Rent and Citizens UK, and said that the law making through parliament to ban agent’s fees has a loophole. After the Tenant Fees Bill was introduced to parliament, he said it could let agents to end up “charging excessive” and “spurious” fees.
Fees and deposits mean renters need to find nearly £2,000 on average every time they move home, rising to an eye-watering £3,700 in London. Most renters do not have that kind of money to hand, and so the chancellor’s announcement in the Autumn Budget 2016 that deposits would be capped and fees banned was a significant step forward.
He added that their concern is about several parts of the Bill that cannot help the renters while it would enable landlords to take more than their needs. Although there had been requests to cap deposits to three weeks, now it has been proposed to six weeks. The Bill could help the agents to charge renters for basic services including chasing late rent payments.
Rising rents, ongoing insecurity, and in too many cases poor quality housing make the 2.4 million private renters in London amongst those worst affected by the housing crisis.
A government spokesperson said that they want to help renters by making the rental market fairer and banning the unfair fees. He added that the Bill would save tenants from fees at the outset and termination of a tenancy and join landlords in a scheme that help tenants to recover unlawfully charged fees.