Labour has announced plans to shake up private renting and save the average rented £624 if it comes to power.
The opposition’s policies include banning “rip-off” letting agent fees for tenants, legislation for three-year tenancies, and an end to “excessive rent rises” by putting a ceiling on rent increases during the new three-year tenancies.
Labour leader Ed Miliband MP said Generation Rent has been ignored and let down by the current government.
“The amount needed for a deposit on a home has risen beyond the reach of millions of young people and families starting out. As well as building more houses and helping people get on the property ladder, a Labour government will take action immediately to make life better for all those renting their home.
“Too often people having to pay hundreds of pounds in letting fees and other upfront costs when they move into their new home. It doesn’t happen when you buy a house – the estate agents’ fees are paid by the person selling – so why are people renting a home having to pay?
“Moving house is an expensive time anyway and there is no reason why Generation Rent should be ripped by rules which don’t apply to property owners. The first Queen’s Speech of the next Labour government will set out legislation to ban letting agent fees charged to tenants. It will save Generation Rent £2.5 billion over the next parliament. And it will save the typical renter £624.”
On a visit to Hampstead & Kilburn Emma Reynolds MP, Labour’s shadow housing minister, called on Generation Rent to make its voice heard in the election.
She said: “Nine million people, including over one million families with children, rent from a private landlord, but the truth is they’re getting a raw deal.
“Renters have to work two days a week – the equivalent of working every day until the 28th May this year – before they pay the rent. But in return they get no stability, poor standards and they have to pay hundreds of pounds in rip-off letting agent fees.
“Under David Cameron house building has fallen to the lowest levels in peacetime since the 1920s and the Tories have refused to stand-up for Generation Rent.
“Labour is pledging to give private renters a fairer deal. A Labour Government will introduce three year stable tenancies, put a ceiling on rent rises over the course of the contracts, ban letting agent fees on tenants, drive up standards and tackle poor energy efficiency. We are also committed to tackling the root causes of this crisis by getting at least 200,000 homes built a year by 2020.
“From now until the General Election I will be in key seats talking to voters about our plans for housing. And as part of voter registration week, I will be encouraging private renters, who are one of the most under-registered groups, to get registered so that their voice can be heard in May.
“Generation rent deserves a fairer deal. Only a Labour government is set on delivering it.”