The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, will outline plans today to ban letting agent fees and cap rent increases for longer-term tenants. The proposals are aimed at saving nine million renters more than £600 each during the span of the next parliament. The rent savings analysis was released as Emma Reynolds, Labour’s shadow housing minister, embarked on the first day of a national campaign to tour marginal seats with high levels of private renters. Private renters are the most under-registered group when it comes to signing up to the electoral roll, with 56% of them not able to vote in their constituency. The Minister for Housing and Planning, Brandon Lewis, said that Labour’s rent control proposals showed the party was in chaos, warning that freezing rents would harm the housing market. “Rent controls never work – they destroy investment in housing leading to fewer homes to rent and poorer quality accommodation.”
Source: The Guardian, Daily Telegraph
Different people have different views on this, and quite right too: we at BKL believe telling our people to think, not telling them what to think.
Q. What’s even better than an electoral bribe? A. An electoral bribe which you don’t even have to fund with the inconvenience of raising taxes, but which you can simply and directly ensure that someone else funds. Especially if the funders are by and large people who were never going to vote for you. Brilliant? Transparent? Cynical? Fair? Take your pick.
If I want to sell my house or my company I hire an agent to do this for me. He provides the service to me and charges me for it. He won’t also charge the person who is buying my house or my company. Why should it be any different if I am letting a property? The letting agent is my agent, so he should be charging me, not the tenant as well.