Let's tackle rip-off landlords, says Worcester's Labour parliamentary candidate

Worcester News: Councillor Joy Squires: wants a landlords crackdown Councillor Joy Squires: wants a landlords crackdown

WORCESTER'S Labour parliamentary candidate says she wants to see an end to rip-off landlord tactics - and is pushing for extra top-up fees to be scrapped.

Councillor Joy Squires, who represents the Arboretum area of the city, says too many families and single people in rented properties struggle to manage their finances.

Householders who sign up to rent property often pay add-on fees to agents, which cost around £350 on average.

Labour is firming up its policies ahead of next year's general election and says it wants to legislate to ban the fees altogether, as well as make three-year tenancies the standard timescale.

The Arboretum ward contains a high proportion of rented properties, many of them independently owned.

Cllr Squires said "a longer tenancy and predictable rents" would help people manage tight family finances and plan ahead better.

"Families who are renting in Worcester are often worried about the prospect that their rent could jump up by a big amount from one year to the next," she said. "They want to be able to settle down, put down roots and have peace of mind.

"If you buy your home, most estate agents will not charge you fees, but people in Worcester who rent are given no protection and they get charged £350 on average.

"That’s a lot of money for a lot of people and that’s why Labour will legislate to ban these rip-off charges by letting agents."

But the idea has already ran into opposition from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which has distanced itself from the policy and says scrapping charges is "not the answer".

Other critics also say the idea could lead to landlords investing less cash in the properties they own.

Chris Town, from the Residential Landlords Association, said: "All the evidence clearly shows that rent controls of the kind being proposed would critically undermine investment in new homes to rent."

It comes after the Labour-controlled city council has already agreed to a crackdown on so-called Homes of Multiple Occasion (HMOs).

The cabinet has agreed to force landlords to apply for a ‘change of use’ if they want to turn a property into student rooms.

Under the move, known as Article 4, it also applies to properties rented to three different tenants or more.

Comments (2)

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1:51am Thu 8 May 14

Jabbadad says...

The sometimes huge rents charged in the private sector are just another high burden / cost to the public purse, since the many on Benefits have their rents topped up or paid by the taxpayers anyway. So the winners are the private landlords who are opposed to capping rents.
As to the Key money in the private sector this is held as a fund for damage caused by bad tenants, and with social landlords they also have a list of charges which can be demanded when outgoing tenants cause damage, and so it should be.
Some bad tenants see nothing wrong in smashing or taking doors and burning them, such things as light sockets and power points ripped out, copper pipe stolen, tiles smashed off the walls, holes in the ceilings, basins and toilets smashed off the walls, and why should social landlords pay for these repairs, the cost of which are eventually passed onto those tenants who look after their homes rented or not?
I am pleased to recently read that when another person has damaged or stolen someon elses property that the courts are awarding the value of the goods for the guilty to pay to the victims. AND ABOUT TIME TOO.
Nothing annoys me more than to read that some yobbo having caused hundreds if not thousands of pounds worth of damage to a victims property, is heavily fined, charged court costs and a couple of quid for the property taken or damaged. And these costs for damages should be legally attached to their incomes.
The sometimes huge rents charged in the private sector are just another high burden / cost to the public purse, since the many on Benefits have their rents topped up or paid by the taxpayers anyway. So the winners are the private landlords who are opposed to capping rents. As to the Key money in the private sector this is held as a fund for damage caused by bad tenants, and with social landlords they also have a list of charges which can be demanded when outgoing tenants cause damage, and so it should be. Some bad tenants see nothing wrong in smashing or taking doors and burning them, such things as light sockets and power points ripped out, copper pipe stolen, tiles smashed off the walls, holes in the ceilings, basins and toilets smashed off the walls, and why should social landlords pay for these repairs, the cost of which are eventually passed onto those tenants who look after their homes rented or not? I am pleased to recently read that when another person has damaged or stolen someon elses property that the courts are awarding the value of the goods for the guilty to pay to the victims. AND ABOUT TIME TOO. Nothing annoys me more than to read that some yobbo having caused hundreds if not thousands of pounds worth of damage to a victims property, is heavily fined, charged court costs and a couple of quid for the property taken or damaged. And these costs for damages should be legally attached to their incomes. Jabbadad
  • Score: 2

6:47am Fri 9 May 14

green49 says...

Jabbadad you are so right, has Joy Squires ever been a landlord and know all the legalities that go with it? i doubt it very much, i am not saying rents should rip people off but when wilful damage and constant problems arise someone has got to pay for it, some people need help with housing some you cant help if you try, i sold some of my property off for that very reason every few months due to damage which was caused and couldnt careless attitude of some tenants about my property i got fed up with thecost of putting it right again.
Jabbadad you are so right, has Joy Squires ever been a landlord and know all the legalities that go with it? i doubt it very much, i am not saying rents should rip people off but when wilful damage and constant problems arise someone has got to pay for it, some people need help with housing some you cant help if you try, i sold some of my property off for that very reason every few months due to damage which was caused and couldnt careless attitude of some tenants about my property i got fed up with thecost of putting it right again. green49
  • Score: 1

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