Labour MPs call for action on letting agent fees and rents

In a heated debate, Labour MPs have called for action on rising rents and letting agent fees.

Dr Rupa Hug, Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton, initiated the debate on housing in London.

She said: “We need minimum standards, not only for tenants but for the letting agencies that can charge sky-high fees, in the hundreds of pounds – I have never understood what for; a couple of references, if that.”

She said her constituency had the “dubious honour” of having the highest rents in a marginal constituency.

She said: “I do not want to brand all private landlords as neo-Rachman rogues.

“According to the post-2015 election Register of Members’ Financial Interests, 142 MPs declared rental income under the category for land and property in the UK and elsewhere, in which annual rental income that exceeds £10,000 must be declared.

“That is 22% of MPs – just over one in five. There must be some decent ones among them.”

She went on: “Although red tape is often condemned and flexibility championed, I am proud – despite Labour losing the election – to have stood on a platform of reining in the violent price rises that lead to instability for tenants.”

Mayor of London hopeful David Lammy called for “rent stabilisation” to control over-heated rents.

He said: “I am against setting up a 1970s-style bureaucracy to impose rent control. I am for a rent cap, linked to interest rates, to ensure that our more excessive landlords are not able to drive up rents in the way that we are currently seeing.”

Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn said: “There is an enormous housing crisis in London, and it is getting worse. Someone walking around the streets of London on any night will see the number of people now sleeping rough, without benefits and begging.

“Every day, people are being evicted from the private rental sector to make way for somebody else moving in on a still-higher rent. There is something brutal and unnecessary about the way in which many people in this city have to live.”

Corbyn called for measures to “address the question of the quality and regulation of the private rented sector”.

In reply, housing minister Brandon Lewis said: “Opposition members have talked about different forms of rent control and tried to argue that they are not rent control as any of us see it.

“If it looks like rent control and it smells like rent control, it is rent control – something that the Labour shadow Secretary of State has already said does not work and will not work.

“Experiences elsewhere have proven that, and we will not do it.”


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  1. marcH

    Will these people NEVER learn ??!!

    1. Will

      No they are not capable of learning!  It is all political rubbish hiding the fact they  can’t fund additional housing to provide homes for the many recent migrants that have come, and continue to come, to our shores (the excess demand is driving up prices and causing the problems they blame on the private sector). The communistic approach of people like Corbyn is suggesting right to buy be extended to the private sector at massive discounts funded by private landlords. Such ideas will not address the housing crisis and is driven solely by political ideology. The mind set of the labour party shows when such emotive language as “neo-Rachman rogues” is used in speaches.

      The labour party wonder why they lost the election! many of their traditional voters are landlords (with property investment forming their pension plan as interest rates are rubbish and insurance companies have ripped off savers in recent years) and don’t want part of their investments confiscated by Corbyn and his merry members with right to buy enforced on private investors.

      Judge for yourself will they learn? Can they learn?  If they took an O level economics it would be a good start.

  2. ElTel

    When will politicians learn the principles of supply and demand? Until the 250000 plus people (we know about) that flood into the UK each year is stemmed, or we build 200000 plus house each year, rents will continue to rise.

  3. Mark Walker

    Dear Dr Rupa Hug, do a property inventory.  Calculate the total time it takes to do that property inventory.  Compare the cost per hour against the average per hour consultancy fees of an MP.  You’ll work out that Letting Fees are rather cheap in comparison.

  4. Mark Walker

    Dear Jeremy Corbyn, the “enormous housing crisis in London, and it is getting worse. Someone walking around the streets of London on any night will see the number of people now sleeping rough, without benefits and begging.” is the fault of Government, not the private rented sector.  Credit where credit is due.

  5. Andy W

    If I’m doing my job for free I’d at least like the ability to choose!


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