A lobbying thrust by lettings chain Belvoir is involving every franchisee writing to their own local MPs to protest about Labour’s plans for the private rented sector.
The MPs are being warned about the negative impact that the policies would have on tenants – including higher rents and a shortage of properties – should Labour win next year’s General Election.
All of the 160-plus franchisees will also be writing to tenants and landlords.
Dorian Gonsalves, director of commercial and franchising at Belvoir, said: “In recent weeks we have seen media reports of many controversial policies by Labour, such as the proposed banning of tenancy fees, introducing rental caps and statutory long-term tenancy agreements.
“We are concerned that many MPs may not be fully aware of the likely impact of these policies.
“As the General Election draws nearer, Belvoir’s franchise owners across the network are committed to writing personal letters to their MPs, informing them of the potential consequences should Labour get into power and implement these flawed policies.
“The ban on tenant fees in Scotland has already resulted in tenants paying up to £300 more in rents each year.
“In order for MPs to make a proper decision about Labour’s proposals we feel they should be fully informed of the work that lettings agents do on behalf of tenants as well as landlords.
“Belvoir agents are inviting MPs to meet with them so that they can explain the enormous protection and benefits that, for a minimal fee, tenants currently enjoy. Several Belvoir franchise owners have already received very positive responses from their MP.”
He said of Labour’s proposed rent controls: “The majority of landlords have not increased rents at all since 2008. It is only in London and the South East where massive increases have been seen, and in these areas a cap of 3% will make no real difference, but could have a negative impact on landlords in other parts of the country, particularly when interest rates rise.
“Many landlords may feel forced to sell off their portfolio, thereby reducing the stock of rental properties even further.”