LGA calls for an end to ‘extortionate PRS fees’
The Local Government Association has called for action to tackle rogue private landlords and letting agents who charge ‘extortionate’ fees.
The LGA, which represents 423 councils in England and Wales, is concerned that letting agents’ fees are acting as a barrier and preventing people from finding a house or flat in the private rented sector. The association cited research by the homelessness charity Shelter showing that some lettings agents are charging non-refundable administration fees of more than £500.
Tony Newman (member of the environment and housing board at the LGA) outlined many ‘concerns’ at the first part of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s Investigation into the PRS yesterday, saying: ‘We have heard stories of some letting agents charging hundreds of pounds just to carry out basic credit and reference checks. For people in the early stages of their career and on relatively low incomes, this can prove a stretch too far.
‘Pricing people out of private rented housing in this way is adding to the pressure on already over-subscribed waiting lists for council and social housing.’
Mr Newman said safeguards need to be put in place to protect tenants from high letting agents fees and from landlords who rent out ‘shabby, substandard homes’.
The LGA is also calling on the government to lift restrictions to make it easier to tackle rogue landlords who exploit tenants.
And called for courts to be able to issue fines which ‘properly reflect’ the harm caused by landlords who overcrowd properties.
Firstly, Landlord Referencing Services would like to know the exact figure of letting agents that are ‘charging hundreds of pounds just to carry out basic credit and reference checks‘ ; as ‘some’ doesn’t exactly sound like breaking news…!
Secondly, Landlord Referencing Services is FREE to join and use and available to ALL landlords and letting agents throughout the UK – therefore there should be no excuse for using ‘extortionate tenant referencing services.’
Thirdly, if the LGA feel so strongly about this then Landlord Referencing would like to call on them to work with us and our ever growing community of landlords and letting agents – whereby we clean up the PRS together.
- Will this increase Agents fees for Landlords?
- Could this encourage more Landlords to manage their properties themselves?
- Will this breed more rogue tenants AND rogue landlords in the PRS?
- Landlords, Letting Agents AND Tenants | We want to hear YOUR views on the subject.