For too long, landlords had been able to impose huge unfair charges on renters with little government oversight.
Three years ago, Liberal Democrat Baroness Olly Grender introduced a bill to the House of Lords on renters’ rights, to ban letting agents from charging excessive admin fees and protect tenants from rogue landlords.
This bill was left unfinished when the snap election was held in 2017, but the Liberal Democrats have continued to fight for renters’ rights.
The Liberal Democrat move led the Government to introduce a new Tenant Fees Bill last year, and we won a number of important amendments to prevent renters being charged unfair fees, cap tenancy deposits at five weeks’ rent and requiring more transparency when a deposit isn’t returned.
Today that bill became law, giving renters a fairer deal in the private rental sector and protecting them from unaffordable deposits and extortionate fees.
Read a briefing from Generation Rent, which has been campaigning on the issue.
Comment from Generation Rent:
It’s finally here! Today the Tenant Fees Ban comes into effect
It means that letting agents and landlords won’t be able to charge any fees when you move to a new home and you’ll save on average £404 on your next move.
We know that new laws can be confusing, and with 81 pages of guidance, it can feel like you need a PhD to understand what it means. But don’t worry – Generation Rent has got your back. We’ve created a short guide on what is and isn’t covered by the ban. Take a read.
It’s a massive win for renters everywhere who’ve been campaigning for years for this change. We have been following this legislation on its journey through the Houses of Parliament and pushing the government at every step to make sure the law protects renters as much as possible.
There is another important side of the rental market that needs urgently to be addressed.
Much more needs to be done to help Long Leaseholders when their lease comes to an end.
A so called 'secure tenancy' for long leaseholders from before 1989 is NOT secure as the freeholders keep hiking up the rent to get the leaseholders out. Owners of these long leases are pensioners when their leases end and thus cannot afford the now severely escalated 'market rents'.
Some freeholders are evicting these leaseholders and turning their long term homes in to holiday lets as those bring them in much more rental income. They are causing the loss of many homes for local people when already there are not enough homes for people.
In turn the overstretched councils are having to try to house these leaseholders and this means there is an even larger shortage of housing. It also means that councils financial resources are even more stretched together with the fact it is adding to the number of homeless people.
Glenda Jackson said in Parliament years ago that it is quite wrong that long term leaseholders should lose their homes with no financial recompense when it has been they who have built those houses from old condemned property and maintained them throughout the lease. The freeholder having contributed nothing.
It has been called 'eviction by stealth'
It is cruel and underhand.