Mayor calls for ‘watered down’ Tenant Fees Bill to go much further

London mayor Sadiq Khan has called for the fees ban to go much further than is currently proposed.

The Tenant Fees Bill is next due in Parliament on September 5 for its report stage.

But Khan said the Bill must go further to end “rip-off” fees and extortionate deposits.

He said it had been watered down and was a missed opportunity to protect the 2.4m private renters in London.

He said London tenants need to find nearly £3,700 each time they move home, compared with a nationwide average of £2,000.

Khan wants to see deposits capped at no more than three weeks’ rent.

But he said that despite ministers earlier promising a cap of four weeks, they have backtracked and now propose six weeks, a measure not supported by any organisation representing renters.

In addition, he said the Bill contains loopholes that mean letting agents could still end up charging tenants excessive fees – now spread throughout a tenancy rather than charged up-front.

Khan said the Bill formalises agents’ ability to charge renters for basic services – such as responding to emergency call-outs – that should be covered by the management fee landlords have already paid.

Khan said these measures mean the Bill “opens the door to an entirely new culture of exploitation”.

As the Bill is passes through its parliamentary stages, the mayor is calling on ministers to make amendments by:

  • capping rental deposits at three weeks’ rent, and capping holding deposits at one day’s rent;
  • scrapping provisions for new and potentially exploitative ‘default fees’ to be written into tenancy agreements, and for ‘charges to enact a change of sharer’ which will fall disproportionately on renters living in shared housing; and
  • increasing the penalties councils can charge for illegal fees to £30,000
  • enabling tenants to directly claim back prohibited payments along with compensation worth up to three times the fee paid.

Khan, said: “Rising rents, ongoing insecurity, and in too many cases poor quality housing make the 2.4m private renters in London amongst those worst-affected by the housing crisis.

“By backtracking on proposals and watering down the strength of this Bill, Ministers are in danger of opening the door to an entirely new culture of exploitation, with the legislation left unfit for purpose and simply a missed opportunity to truly help renters.”

Earlier this year Khan launched his Rogue Landlords and Letting Agents Checker, which allows Londoners to check if the landlord or letting agent of a rental property has been convicted of any housing offences.

All 33 London local authorities have signed up to the tool – the first of its kind in the country.

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15 Comments

  1. 70GJ

    No sign of the Rogue Tenant checker. Funny that.

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    1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

      I’ll just leave this here… 

       

      Revealed: Sadiq Khan took donations from property firm which ‘put tenants’ lives at risk’

       

      https://www.standard.co.uk/news/mayor/revealed-sadiq-khan-took-donations-from-property-firm-which-put-tenants-lives-at-risk-a3219961.html

       

       

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  2. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    Mr Khan’s comments are about as helpful as a chocolate prophylactic…

     

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    1. Gloslet

      Mayor Khan doesn’t really understand that a tenancy DEPOSIT is not a FEE !

      nor does he seem to understand that if the tenant abides by the terms of the tenancy contract that the tenant is already legally protected to receive the entire DEPOSIT back.

       

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      1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

        Ah yes, ‘contracts’…
         
        The next thing Mr Kahn, Gen. Rent, Shelter et al, are proposing an end to.
         
        Afterall, what do the homeless need contracts for? 

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  3. jeremy1960

    Let’s hope this abnoxious man who seems unable to do his own job and allows crime to go unchecked gets locked in one of his unisex loos and nobody finds him until his term as mayor has finished. The last thing this business needs is an idiot like him messing around and spouting absolute rubbish that would only hurt those who need to rent most.

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  4. Will

    The man is a fool & doesn’t understand the market. Moreover, he should concertrate on the murder rate & crime.

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  5. Deltic2130

    What a pillock. Three weeks’ deposit? How does that work then?

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  6. CountryLass

    No, the six weeks deposit is backed by those of us who protect the Landlord’s property! Does this muppet have any idea how much it costs to fully clean a house that may have been left dirty? I think a basic clean of the last one and to clean one carpet came to just shy of £200 plus VAT. That’s not including if stuff has been left in there, if the garden is a mess or any decorating. Is three weeks rent going to be enough to cover that? What about Tenants who skip out without the last months rent being paid?

     

    Can these people with no clue about the industry please just go away?? Housing is not, and should never be, a vote-point.

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  7. Stokeagent51

    He does not understand lettings or the fact the world does not end at the M25.  3 weeks rent as deposit in London is probably a minimum of £1500.  If he is willing to state 3 weeks rent as deposit or a minimum of say £800 unfurnished, £1200 furnished, that would make logical sense outside of London.

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    1. CountryLass

      My usual deposit is 1.5 months rent, with £150 extra for a pet and a clause to get the carpets cleaned when they leave. If someone has a shaky credit history and their guarantor doesnt quite earn enough then I will ask for 2 months rent as a deposit, with the Landlords permission.
       
      And as the vast majority of my Tenants get it all back I don’t see it as an issue. The fact that they need to find the deposit for a new place before getting this one back is a bit of an issue, I will freely admit that. However, I am not going to return a deposit until they have left, and I am not going to let someone move in with ‘their word’ on paying me later.
      I wondered about allowing Deposits to be tranferred between properties in the Tenants name. They would have to legally agree to make up the short-fall in a deposit after checkout though. So say they have a deposit of £850 on one property, and their new one also wants an £850 deposit, it is placed in Transfer to the new address by the Agents until they have left and it has been inspected. There is some personal items, and it costs £50 to clear it, so the £800 deposit is transferred and the tenant has to make up the £50 shortfall.

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  8. IWONDER36

    Is there anything Khan’t can do well?

     

    This time next year tenants will be worse off by not paying fees, as the rent will be increased.

     

    Good for the government by way of increased tax revenue from Landlords.

     

    Hopefully they’ll use some of it to pay Khan’t redundancy!

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    1. sanctuary45

      It’s a win win for the government and a lose lose for potential tenants. They’ll either get increased tax revenue from the landlords who stay in the PRS but fewer tenants will be able to afford the rent so it’s worse for them, or when landlords decide to jump ship due to the restrictive taxation from the government making it untenable for them to retain their rental properties, the government will get tax revenue from the SDLT that will be generated from the sales, but again tenants lose out as it’s one less rental property for them to look at, pushing the prices of those that remain even higher, and so it goes on……….

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  9. smile please

    If he is worried about how expensive it is to move, why not get behind abolishing stamp duty?

    A tax which costs thousands of pounds just for the privilege of moving.

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  10. Property Poke In The Eye

    Khan is useless, he be out soon.

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