The Government has voted to continue to allow private renters to be charged extortionate fees by letting agents, get evicted for complaining about conditions in their home and have their money unprotected in the event a letting agent goes bust.
Last night the House of Lords debated the Consumer Rights Bill as part of its Report Stage. Amendments to the Bill to require letting agents to insure rent money held on behalf of landlords, to ban letting agents charging fees to tenants, and to ban the eviction of tenants who have complaints upheld by the local authority were defeated by a vote of peers.
Amendment 44 on mandatory client protection, introduced by Labour’s Baroness Hayter, was defeated by 168 votes to 123. Amendment 44ZA on protection of tenants was defeated by 156 votes to 113.
The Government minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, introduced amendments that required letting agents to display their membership of a client money protection scheme and a redress scheme.
The issue of revenge evictions returns to the Commons on Friday when Sarah Teather MP’s Private Member’s Bill, the Tenancies (Reform) Bill, is debated. Last night private renters demonstrated in Westminster to put pressure on MPs to show up for the vote, which takes place outside the normal Parliamentary schedule.
Alex Hilton, Director of Generation Rent, said:
“By voting down a ban on letting fees, the government has told the country’s nine million private renters that the profitability of letting agents is more important than their consumer rights. The government's answer is transparency, but that's no answer at all. Tenants don't get to choose the agent so they can't negotiate down fees.
“Revenge evictions can still be banned with a vote in the Commons on Friday, but renters need as many MPs as possible to show up to ensure that the Bill is passed.”
The only way to change this outcome is to support our campaign, if you are one of the people in rented accommodation who will be affected by this vote then please go to our website and show your support by joining the campaign, here's the link to the page -