Figures uncovered by Labour show the extortionate amounts letting agents are charging their tenants
There’s more bad news for Generation Rent today, as figures released by the Labour party reveal that, even before they start paying rent, private tenants in Britain are paying an average of £1,193 in upfront fees and deposits. Including rent in this takes the average upfront costs for tenants to £1,913.
In a survey of letting agents, Labour found a disturbing lack of transparency among letting agents; half did not reveal their fees on their website, and two in 10 failed to reveal their fees when they were contacted.
And the prices they are hiding are enormous. Labour found that some letting agents charge as much as £606 for administration fees, £234 for check in and inventory, £180 for a new contract and £354 for changing the name on a contract.
In London, upfront fees can reach a staggering £2,529 without rent, and £3,990 with rent added.
Labour is calling for a ban on letting agent fees for tenants, new legislation for three-year stable tenancies, and a ceiling on rent rises over the course of these contracts. Labour is also pressing for more transparency regarding fees, calling on the government to ensure that transparency is ‘robustly enforced’.
Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister Emme Reynolds MP said of the findings:
“Renters face thousands of pounds in upfront costs but in return they get no stability, poor standards and they have to pay hundreds of pounds in rip-off letting agent fees.
“The Tories have nothing to offer Generation Rent but empty promises and more of the same polices that have delivered the lowest levels of house building in peace time since the 1920s.
“Labour has a better plan for working families. We will give private renters a better deal. A Labour Government will ban letting agent fees on tenants, introduce three-year stable tenancies, and put a ceiling on rent rises over the course of the contracts. Labour will also tackle the root causes of this crisis by getting at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020.”
Below are the regional differences in upfront fees, with the second column showing the average deposit and fees, and the third showing this figure with upfront rent added:
|East of England||£1,269||£1,959|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||£919||£1,454|
Ruby Stockham is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on TwitterLike this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.