Bringing fairness in the private rented housing sector and making it work better for people is a key aim of the Conservative Government. Last Saturday, the Tenant Fees Act came into effect, banning unfair letting fees for tenants so that private renters keep more of their income.
This Act ends unfair letting fees and is expected to save tenants across England at least £240 million a year. It also caps the deposits that renters pay at the start of their tenancy at five week’s rent, giving people the peace of mind that they will not pay more than this to secure the home they want.
This is part of the biggest change to the private rental sector for a generation, which includes moves to give renters the long-term certainty they deserve by ending no-fault evictions. I am particularly pleased that in a year’s time, annual renewal fees will also be going. This charge in particular feels unjust as it is often literally just signing an updated tenancy agreement and nothing else.
Private sector rentals are a growing section of the housing market, both nationally and in Crawley. I feel that having transparency in the costs of renting upfront is important and I welcome the ending of these additional extra charges.
However, don’t just take my word for it. I’d like to quote what the Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy said: “The end of these uncompetitive and unfair letting fees is a real win for renters. The new law means families and other renters don't have to hand over hundreds of pounds every time they move home. We look forward to working with the Government to further strengthen the hand of renters in a market where they have little bargaining power.”
Citizens Advice is well qualified to comment on this as housing is one of the most frequent concerns that are raised with them by the public. We Conservatives are also helping Council tenants of whom we also have many in Crawley. Our annual 1% rent reduction for every year over four years is reducing our tenants housing costs.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
6th June 2019