Private Rented Sector

Part of Opposition Day — [2nd Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 12:37 pm on 25th June 2014.

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Photo of Emma Reynolds Emma Reynolds Shadow Minister (Housing) 12:37 pm, 25th June 2014

I simply do not agree with the hon. Gentleman. According to Shelter, which conducted a survey of letting agents throughout Scotland, there is no evidence—[Interruption.] I allowed the hon. Gentleman to intervene; perhaps he will have the politeness to listen. The survey by Shelter established that, since 2012, landlords in Scotland were no more likely to increase rents than landlords elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

What the hon. Gentleman and other Government Members must ask themselves is this: is it reasonable for letting agents to charge whatever they want to charge? For that is exactly what is happening. Is it reasonable for a letting agent to charge £300, £400 or £500 for inventories, references, and all the other things that the landlord needs, because the letting agent is working for the landlord? And guess what? The landlord is paying a percentage—usually 8% or 10%—in order to pay management costs to the letting agent. It is not as if the letting agent is not getting any money out of the transaction.

We are merely suggesting that, given that the tenant does not shop around for a letting agent—the tenant shops around for a property—the tenant should not have to pay the fees. If Government Members want to set their faces against Generation Rent, let them go ahead and see what the electoral consequences are.