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Labour propose renters’ union to stop ‘tyranny of rogue landlords’

Labour’s shadow housing secretary John Healey made the announcement today (September 24) at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool.

A £20m pot will be made available for new unions in England that support tenants in conflicts with landlords or letting agents.

‘We will control rents, end no-fault evictions and put a stop to the tyranny of rogue landlords,’ he said.

He will also announce other policies including introducing three-year tenancies, banning letting agent fees, giving cities the power to introduce rent controls and stopping section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions.

Currently, landlords or estate agents have the right to evict a tenant for no reason with just two months notice.

The government’s Tenants Fee Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords earlier this month and includes measures such as longer tenancies and the banning of excessive letting agent fees.

Responding to Mr Healey’s speech, Richard Lambert, CEO of the National Landlords Association (NLA), told NewStart: ‘These proposals show how out of touch with the reality of the private rented sector the Labour Party currently is.

‘We don’t believe that imposing an arbitrary cap on rent levels would have the effect desired by Labour, John Healey and other proponents.

‘Government intervention through rent controls would be counter-productive to encouraging supply at a time when it is so badly needed.

‘If Labour really wanted to make a difference in how the private rented sector works, it should tackle the causes of the problems, not the symptoms.’

 

Thomas Barrett
Senior journalist - NewStart Follow him on Twitter

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