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

The hon. Gentleman raises a valid point. According to research by Shelter, which has conducted a thorough piece of work on the issue, only one landlord in 120 that it surveyed said that they had noticed an increase in agency fees and had passed that on in full to their tenants. Therefore, to be frank, the change we are suggesting is not that big. It is pretty big news for tenants, but it will not make a massive difference to the letting agent industry. It will have to change its business model slightly, but what it has done, especially in the years of the global financial crash, is shift ever so slightly, often little by little, the costs of the tenancy on to the tenant, who does not have the power and leverage to negotiate with the letting agent. The tenant sees a property that they like. They do not choose the letting agent. They do not have leverage over the negotiations.

The landlord has that leverage, and the landlord should do the deal with the letting agent on the fees, including on the fee that the landlord pays the letting agent to manage the property.