We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Tim sponsors bill to offer more protection to private housing tenants

March 12, 2014 11:36 AM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron is calling on the Government to give more protection to private housing tenants who may fall victim to unscrupulous letting agents.

Many tenants face exorbitant charges imposed by agents to prepare or renew contracts, perform credit checks, or carry out other admin costs.

Tim is a co-sponsor of a bill to deal with this in Parliament today (Wednesday, March 12), under the so-called 10 Minute Rule. The bill seeks to extend the powers of the Independent Housing Ombudsman, which currently only deals with complaints from social housing tenants against their landlord, but carries out spot checks on private landlords.

Tim will ask the Government to ban exorbitant fees, undertake a review of the law as it applies to the private rented sector and make it easier for councils to set up landlord and property accreditation schemes. He will also call for a housing ombudsman service to be set up deal with tenants' complaints.

"I am very concerned that some tenants are being charged excessive amounts for the standard process of letting a flat, or for the repair or replacement of fixtures and fittings," said Tim.

"There is no overarching regulation of the private housing sector and I am worried that tenants are at the mercy of unscrupulous agencies which see tenancies as a way of making extra money over and above the standard charges."