Wigan MP Lisa Nandy backs calls for improved standards in the private rented sector
The Labour Party has this week launched a wide-ranging policy review on the private rented housing sector and Lisa is calling on Wigan’s residents to get in touch with their experiences and suggestions for how the sector can be improved.
A recent survey of letting agents found that 94 per cent imposed additional charges on tenants on top of the tenancy deposit and rent or rent in advance. It also found huge variation in the size of these charges. The charge for checking references ranged from £10 to £275 and the charge for renewing a tenancy ranged from £12 to £220. In some cases additional charges for a tenancy amounted to over £600.
Labour’s policy review will seek to create a professional lettings market in which unscrupulous agents can no longer hit landlords and tenants with rip-off charges. The private rented sector should provide stability both for families who want to plan for their children’s future and for landlords who want to invest for the long term.
The Citizens Advice Bureau found that 73 per cent of tenants they surveyed were dissatisfied with the service provided by their letting agent, and report that a significant number of people have difficulties contacting agents, serious delays in getting repairs carried out, and inadequacies in the financial protection of deposits.
Lisa Nandy said:
“One in six households now live in the private rented sector and this figure looks set to increase to one in five by 2020. We want to ensure, particularly in these tough times, that private tenants can be confident their money is safe and that they will get a fair deal. There is no place for unscrupulous agents who rip-off tenants by charging them fees they didn’t know they would face and who exploit landlords and tenants alike by failing to protect the money they hold for them.
I want to hear from anyone who has had experiences – good or bad – with the private rented sector and particularly with letting agents so I can feed Wigan’s voices into Labour’s national policy review. You can get in touch by visiting my website at www.lisanandy.co.uk”