Posted: 7 May, 2014 at 11:29 am

Labour adopts John’s plan to help renters

Labour adopts John’s plan to help renters

Labour adopts John’s plan to help renters
PROPOSALS to help renters put forward last year by South Yorkshire MP John Healey have been adopted as a Labour election pledge.

Last July Mr Healey introduced a private members’ bill to stop letting agents charging rip-off fees.

The former housing minister said: “Tenants are often hit by huge and hidden up-front fees. Multiple charges for administration, inventories, references, credit checks, deposit handling, contract preparation and tenancy renewal are common.

“The average cost of up-front fees charged by letting agents is almost £350. That’s a lot of money for a lot of people and that’s why Labour will legislate to ban these rip-off charges by letting agents.”

There are now 9 million people renting privately including over 1.3 million families with children. The number of private renters in Rotherham has doubled in 10 years and in Barnsley it has increased by 76 per cent.

More than half of renters say covering fees caused financial difficulties, so banning them would give immediate help with costs.

Labour has also pledged to bring in legislation to make three-year tenancies with predictable rents the norm.

Mr Healey said there were deeper problems with the private rental market which needed to be looked at in the long-term.