Tenant Fees Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:00 pm on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Housing) 2:00 pm, 23rd January 2019

Having served on that Committee with the hon. Gentleman previously, I absolutely support its work and congratulate it, but it is always in the interests of a Select Committee to achieve consensus whenever possible and to try to agree a report that has unanimous support. That is the purpose and intention, and this case is a demonstration of excellent chairmanship and co-operation.

I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on playing his part in that, but it is the Opposition’s role to speak up for tenants. If we can make the process better, and if there is an opportunity for the Government to go further in assisting tenants—tenants are hard-pressed and this is a very expensive period of their lives—it is right that we speak up for them. We should try to encourage the Government to accept that they can reduce the barrier of high deposits to assist people directly. I just cannot support the view that charging more will assist renters in any way.

The Minister mentioned that I welcomed the Government’s reduction. I am delighted that they have listened to common sense and reasonableness, and that they have reduced the cap to five weeks from six, which was far too high, but it is not enough. If the Government can go further, I believe they always should.