The discussion of the details for the Tenant Fees Bill continue, with Labour voicing its opinion that tenant deposits should be capped to just three weeks’ rent.
The Government’s original proposal was brought into parliament on 2nd May, with the aim to cap deposits at the equivalent of six weeks, amongst other suggestions to improve the private rented sector.
The plan is to also implement various other changes, such as a cap restricting holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent and limiting charges for a change of tenancy to £50. The Section 21 notice procedure is also being looked at, with the idea to prevent landlords from recovering possession of their property through this method until they have repaid any unlawfully charged fees.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: “Our new measures will save hard-working renters an average of £200 every time they move, and in some cases much more.
“Landlords will be allowed to charge a maximum of six weeks’ rent and we expect them to consider what is the right deposit to take on a case-by-case basis.”
Labour believes that this six-week cap will not actually help most tenants, as the average deposit is already less than five weeks’ rent. However, it could be considered that the Bill is a step in the right direction in addressing and preventing rogue landlords and letting agents from taking advantage of tenants.
Melanie Onn, shadow-housing minister has commented: “Labour is fighting for a fairer deal for all renters. We recognise the private rented sector is the fastest growing area of housing, and it is right that they are not exploited by unfair fees.
“This government has failed renters for the last eight years. Labour will hold them to account to make sure the power between landlords and tenants is rebalanced.”