Labour Candidates Louise Baldock (Stockton South) and Anna Turley (Redcar) have today written to James Wharton and Ian Swales calling on them to back Labour's amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill, an amendment which would ban letting agent fees for tenants. The amendment will be debated on Tuesday in the House of Commons, after which Labour will call a vote.
A copy of the open letter is below.
Dear James and Ian
Nine million people are living in rented homes today, more than a million families, and more than two million children. With tenants on Teesside facing rip-off fees from lettings agents and insecure tenancies, Labour has announced the biggest change in a generation to make the system fairer for renters.
On Tuesday, MPs of all political parties will have the chance to implement an important part of this plan - banning letting agent fees to tenants.
Tenants are hit by huge upfront costs through unfair letting agent fees. A survey of letting agents found that 94 per cent imposed additional charges on tenants on top of the deposit and rent in advance. Fees are extremely variable, but on average tenants are forced to pay £355 to their lettings agents every time they move house with some paying as much as £500. These costs are putting addition pressure on renters with 54 per cent of people surveyed saying they faced financial difficulties covering fees.
The amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill, to be voted on this Tuesday, will give all MPs the chance to stand with renters and make a real difference to their lives by banning letting fees to tenants.
We are writing to call on you to support the amendment. The next Labour government will pass legislation to ban letting agent fees for tenants and to introduce longer-term tenancies with predictable rents. But on Tuesday all MPs will have a chance to stand for the nine million people who rent. If you fail to vote for the amendment, all those who rent in Stockton South and Redcar will be entitled to ask why you won't stand up for them.
In light of the public interest in this matter we are releasing a copy of this letter to the press.
Louise Baldock, Labour and Co-operative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Stockton South
Anna Turley, Labour and Co-operative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar