Labour’s shadow housing secretary has branded “outrageous” moves by landlords and letting agents to demand multiple months of rent upfront.
Lucy Powell has told the i newspaper: “It’s outrageous that landlords and lettings agents are trying to price people out of a place to live. Requiring months and months of upfront rent is wrong, and brings the sector into disrepute.
“We have long urged the government to bring forward the Renters Reform Bill to tackle problem behaviour yet they have failed to prioritise this legislation, kicking it into the long grass.”
Powell was commenting in response to an article in the i citing a tenant in Manchester who was asked to pay six months’ rent up front, totalling £7,500. Another tenant quoted in the paper was renting a £1,200 ppm property but was expected to pay £14,000 up front.
Both the National Residential Landlords Association and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have in recent months publicly suggested landlords should try to avoid asking for multiple months’ rent up front, and instead seek guarantors or insurance if they fear the tenants’ income may be jeopardised.
Some campaigners have interpreted this tactic as a way of landlords and agents getting around the Tenant Fees Act, which strictly controls fees and services that can be charged for, but does not specifically outlaw hefty multiple-month deposits.
The newspaper claims that “as landlords lose their nerve due to growing number of tenants falling into arrears amid the economic fallout of the pandemic, it is resulting in growing instability for 4.5 million households – close to 20 million people – who rely on renting privately in England.”
You can see the article here.
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