MPs debate abolishing rental fees Watch

Official House of Commons
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Today in the House of Commons, MPs are debating the Tenant Fees Bill. The Bill aims to make renting in England’s competitive private rental market more affordable and transparent. This Bill will directly affect tenants in England as it will abolish most upfront fees, cap security deposits at the equivalent of six weeks’ rent and deliver a manifesto commitment to ban letting fees.

What else would you like to see from the Tenant Fees Bill? Do you feel like this Bill does enough? Do you have any experience of renting in England you would like to share with us?

For more on this Bill, you can read the explanatory notes found here: https://publications.parliament.uk/p...n/18203ENs.pdf
0
reply
ByEeek
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
I would like to see the ability for tenancies to roll over without the need for a £150 "admin" charge and dare I say long term contracts that can't be broken by the landlord by no-fault clauses.
0
reply
L i b
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
The reality is that no-one's really going to be better off. If you can't apply charges, landlords will simply find other ways to extract the cash, at least in rent-pressured areas.

I've rented in London and yes, the sort of charges that the letting agent applied were ridiculous, but they could do it because that's the market rate for the overall service.

One advantage would be transparency. Often, there are clear attempts to disguise charges until the renter gets a bill through their door.

(Original post by ByEeek)
I would like to see the ability for tenancies to roll over without the need for a £150 "admin" charge and dare I say long term contracts that can't be broken by the landlord by no-fault clauses.
Move to Scotland...

Particularly on the "no fault" thing, that's part of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament. For my part, I believe that if a landlord wants their property back, they'll get it back.

The proposed exceptions listed to the end of "no fault" termination after the initial phase (ie, the six months after which the tenancy rolls-over) are quite extensive: (i) landlord intends to sell (ii) property to be sold by lender (iii) landlord intends to refurbish (iv) landlord or family member intends to live in property (v) landlord intends to use for non-residential purpose (vi) property required for religious purpose (vii) no longer an employee (viii) no longer a student (ix) not occupying let property (x) breach of tenancy agreement (xi) rent arrears (xii) criminal behaviour.

It doesn't take a great deal of effort to see how these - particularly (i), (iii) and (iv) - could be exploited with minimal effort.
0
reply
ByEeek
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by L i b)
Move to Scotland...

Particularly on the "no fault" thing, that's part of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament. For my part, I believe that if a landlord wants their property back, they'll get it back.

The proposed exceptions listed to the end of "no fault" termination after the initial phase (ie, the six months after which the tenancy rolls-over) are quite extensive: (i) landlord intends to sell (ii) property to be sold by lender (iii) landlord intends to refurbish (iv) landlord or family member intends to live in property (v) landlord intends to use for non-residential purpose (vi) property required for religious purpose (vii) no longer an employee (viii) no longer a student (ix) not occupying let property (x) breach of tenancy agreement (xi) rent arrears (xii) criminal behaviour.

It doesn't take a great deal of effort to see how these - particularly (i), (iii) and (iv) - could be exploited with minimal effort.
I don't want to move to Scotland. But I don't see why we can't have common sense Scottish style laws in the UK. The rental market is totally unregulated in the UK. Agents and landlords can more or less do and charge whatever they like. They hold all the power. It is rather crazy that by people can be legally evicted from their homes with no reason yet water companies are not permitted to switch off the water for not paying bills. That makes no sense at all.
0
reply
ThomH97
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
If a landlord is expecting an extra 10% of income due to fees that are now banned, they'll just increase the rent by 10% instead. The rent is low to draw renters in. The real problem is the lack of affordable rents, not the transparency - if I'm paying £10 a month rent then I'm not fussed if they charge £20 up front for something they call the "aoweifjsvnioeughviuhsg fee", and if someone's asking me £1million a month for something they transparently call "extortionate rent" then that doesn't help me at all.
1
reply
paul514
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by ThomH97)
If a landlord is expecting an extra 10% of income due to fees that are now banned, they'll just increase the rent by 10% instead. The rent is low to draw renters in. The real problem is the lack of affordable rents, not the transparency - if I'm paying £10 a month rent then I'm not fussed if they charge £20 up front for something they call the "aoweifjsvnioeughviuhsg fee", and if someone's asking me £1million a month for something they transparently call "extortionate rent" then that doesn't help me at all.
The fees are for the agent not the landlord they aren’t passed on
0
reply
ThomH97
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
(Original post by paul514)
The fees are for the agent not the landlord they aren’t passed on
So the agent charges the landlord that fee, which the landlord charges the tenant. Same difference.
0
reply
L i b
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
(Original post by ByEeek)
I don't want to move to Scotland. But I don't see why we can't have common sense Scottish style laws in the UK. The rental market is totally unregulated in the UK. Agents and landlords can more or less do and charge whatever they like. They hold all the power. It is rather crazy that by people can be legally evicted from their homes with no reason yet water companies are not permitted to switch off the water for not paying bills. That makes no sense at all.
Realistically, I don't think the proposed changes will make a difference. Like I said, I think if a landlord wants his property back, he'll get it back - and I can see how the law would be exploited to that end.

Ultimately I do think you need some relationship of trust between landlord and tenant for things to function well in a rental agreement. I don't think you can legislate for that.

I've experienced the rental market in London - and yes, it's ****e, but the reason isn't really to do with the regulation of tenancies, it's just a market where there's a shortage of supply.
0
reply
L i b
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
(Original post by ThomH97)
So the agent charges the landlord that fee, which the landlord charges the tenant. Same difference.
Arguably, at least, in places where the rental market is pressured, the landlord is in a better position to avoid having to pay fees by taking his business elsewhere.
0
reply
J Papi
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
Typical crappy mitigation, the sort you'd expect from a 'we believe in small government but hang on there are a *****on of social issues the people want us to address' Conservative government.

Big problems require big solutions. Some ban on calling a fee X instead of Y isn't it.
0
reply
TimmonaPortella
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
(Original post by ByEeek)
I don't want to move to Scotland. But I don't see why we can't have common sense Scottish style laws in the UK. The rental market is totally unregulated in the UK. Agents and landlords can more or less do and charge whatever they like. They hold all the power. It is rather crazy that by people can be legally evicted from their homes with no reason yet water companies are not permitted to switch off the water for not paying bills.
Have you ever even googled any aspect of landlord and tenant law? It takes several months to get someone out of a property who is paying zero rent.
0
reply
RogerOxon
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 year ago
#12
(Original post by L i b)
Like I said, I think if a landlord wants his property back, he'll get it back - and I can see how the law would be exploited to that end.
They should be entitled to it back (with reasonable notice) - it's theirs after all. I let my house in the UK when I moved to the US, intending to return after 5 years, but decided to stay, and sell in the UK. It was unfortunate that the tenants had to move (at the end of their tenancy), but someone else got their own house. I did offer the tenants the option to buy.

(Original post by L i b)
Ultimately I do think you need some relationship of trust between landlord and tenant for things to function well in a rental agreement. I don't think you can legislate for that.
A bigger deposit can help. Mandating an upper limit is bad IMO.

(Original post by L i b)
I've experienced the rental market in London - and yes, it's ****e, but the reason isn't really to do with the regulation of tenancies, it's just a market where there's a shortage of supply.
Agreed.
0
reply
RogerOxon
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 year ago
#13
(Original post by ByEeek)
It is rather crazy that by people can be legally evicted from their homes with no reason
No, it isn't. They don't own the property. Tenants sign a rental agreement that (hopefully) clearly states the terms and conditions. If the owner needs, or even wants, possession of their property, they should have it. If tenants can't find T&Cs that they like, that's not the landlord's fault. It's a free market, typically with more demand than supply.

Landlords often lose - there are terrible tenants too. I find it really distasteful that they're seen as rich, so, somehow deserve to lose money, or have fewer rights to do what they want with their property.
1
reply
Notoriety
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 year ago
#14
(Original post by Official House of Commons)
Today in the House of Commons, MPs are debating the Tenant Fees Bill. The Bill aims to make renting in England’s competitive private rental market more affordable and transparent. This Bill will directly affect tenants in England as it will abolish most upfront fees, cap security deposits at the equivalent of six weeks’ rent and deliver a manifesto commitment to ban letting fees.

What else would you like to see from the Tenant Fees Bill? Do you feel like this Bill does enough? Do you have any experience of renting in England you would like to share with us?

For more on this Bill, you can read the explanatory notes found here: https://publications.parliament.uk/p...n/18203ENs.pdf
How are you going to ensure the upfront frees don't get absorbed into rents?

How are you going to make sure these rules are actually enforced? The biggest problem I see is people agreeing to stupid terms with landlords simply because they don't understand their rights and landlords don't care enough to inform them what their rights are.

I think the multiple months of rents deposit is more of a London problem, so I have nothing really to add. Again, the type of people being suckered into these bargains are desperate and are going to pay the fees irrespective of the legality.
0
reply
TimmonaPortella
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#15
Report 1 year ago
#15
(Original post by RogerOxon)
A bigger deposit can help. Mandating an upper limit is bad IMO.
This is the problem with a lot of these proposals. Some landlords will take on risky tenants on the basis of a higher deposit. This can be a perfectly sensible arrangement that stands to the benefit of both parties. If you legislate against that practice you're just making things harder for those people.
2
reply
RogerOxon
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#16
Report 1 year ago
#16
(Original post by TimmonaPortella)
This is the problem with a lot of these proposals. Some landlords will take on risky tenants on the basis of a higher deposit. This can be a perfectly sensible arrangement that stands to the benefit of both parties. If you legislate against that practice you're just making things harder for those people.
Agreed. Landlords often get left with unpaid rent for months, and trashed houses.
0
reply
TimmonaPortella
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#17
Report 1 year ago
#17
(Original post by RogerOxon)
If the owner needs, or even wants, possession of their property, they should have it. If tenants can't find T&Cs that they like, that's not the landlord's fault. It's a free market, typically with more demand than supply.
Also worth noting that they generally can't have it within the term of the tenancy. If you sign a 12 month AST, then, within those 12 months, you can only be removed on the grounds set out in Schedule 2 Housing Act 1988. Granted grounds 1 - 5 can fairly be described as non-fault grounds, but there generally has to be notice that they may operate before the tenancy is entered into, and other, quite specific, conditions still have to be met.

I can only guess that the other poster is referring to the situation in which you've remained after your fixed term tenancy has expired, and you continue to occupy on a statutory periodic tenancy. In that case, with appropriate notice, the landlord can retake possession. But surely it ought to be blindingly obvious to any tenant that your position in the property is going to be precarious after your tenancy has expired. Isn't that just common sense? If you want a longer term, negotiate for it.

Not meaning to imply that you don't know this position, but I thought it was worth setting out in the context of a suggestion that landlords can do whatever they want, whenever they want, and just turn up and change the locks at a whim.
0
reply
RogerOxon
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#18
Report 1 year ago
#18
(Original post by TimmonaPortella)
Also worth noting that they generally can't have it within the term of the tenancy. If you sign a 12 month AST, then, within those 12 months, you can only be removed on the grounds set out in Schedule 2 Housing Act 1988. Granted grounds 1 - 5 can fairly be described as non-fault grounds, but there generally has to be notice that they may operate before the tenancy is entered into, and other, quite specific, conditions still have to be met.
Exactly - a contract is signed with written T&Cs. It's a lot easier for the tenant to break these than the landlord, who also has significant financial risk with a badly behaved tenant.

We'll be getting complaints about employment contracts next, and how people can be removed from 'their' jobs.
0
reply
Joinedup
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#19
Report 1 year ago
#19
Seems like a reasonable thing for the government to look at - it was in the conservative manifesto... if you don't like it you'll have to vote for the Rainbow Unicorn Libertarian party next time and see how the public feel about having their right to get ripped off preserved.

(Original post by RogerOxon)
Exactly - a contract is signed with written T&Cs.

We'll be getting complaints about employment contracts next, and how people can be removed from 'their' jobs.
I think the greater problem is employees having their hours removed by the employer. (and the interaction of that with a benefits system which is predicated on everyone working a standard length week every week)

We've seen a system wide transfer of risk from the rich to the poor over the past 20 or so years, the poor haven't been getting compensated for the greater risk they're exposed to.

Generally the employer writes the contract and the employee chooses to take it or leave it - increasingly the employer has chosen (because they can) to offer contracts which allow him to reduce the employees hours. This is beneficial to the employer but can have a dramatic effect on the employee if they're trying to live on the wages from paid employment, (though people doing work for extra pocket money can be quite happy about it).
In a contract signed between economic equals you'd expect one party to be compensated for accepting greater risk, we're seeing the employer getting the benefit of not having to pay people during quiet periods by offloading the risk onto the employees who are less able to bear it.
0
reply
ByEeek
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#20
Report 1 year ago
#20
(Original post by TimmonaPortella)
Have you ever even googled any aspect of landlord and tenant law? It takes several months to get someone out of a property who is paying zero rent.
It is not these people I am concerned about. It is the law abiding people who see themselves kicked out simply because the landlord has decided more rent can be extracted.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

People at uni: do initiations (like heavy drinking) put you off joining sports societies?

Yes (422)
67.41%
No (204)
32.59%

Watched Threads

View All