HOUSING: Campaign with quarter of million signatures to ban letting fees takes huge step towards victory

Housing campaigner Vicky Spratt was outside the Houses of Parliament to meet a Baroness who says letting agent’s fees should be banned.

Vicky, Features editor at The Debrief who has been leading a campaign to scrap the fees since March this year says “they’ve done it in Scotland, so we can do it here” (in England).

Her petition on Change.org currently has more than 253,000 signatures.

On Friday (June 10), Vicky was joined by dozens of supporters outside Parliament to hear Lib Dem peer, Baroness Olly Grender, speak in favour of banning letting agency fees.

'Rip Off': Baroness Olly Grender (left) tells Vicky Spratt (right) why she says letting fees should be scrapped

‘Rip Off’: Baroness Olly Grender (left) tells Vicky Spratt (right) why she says letting fees should be scrapped

Baroness Grender’s Renters’ Rights Bill which had its second reading in the House of Lords the same day, proposes to ban letting fees for renters, give renters access to an open register of rogue landlords, introduce compulsory electrical safety checks in rented homes and prevent rogue landlords from obtaining an HMO licence.

Vicky told Change.org: ‘This was a really important step in our journey. Baroness Olly Grender has put forward a Private Member’s Bill to increase renters’ rights.

Cross-party support: Vicky's campaign could be one step closer to victory 

Cross-party support: Vicky’s campaign could be one step closer to victory 

‘This support is so important for the campaign, and what it means is that we are one step closer to getting unfair letting fees banned. We’re getting cross-party support in Westminster and its really looking like it might happen.’

Baroness Grender added: ‘The main proposal in my bill is about ditching letting fees altogether. It was done in Scotland a few years ago – it’s working well and makes things much fairer. 

‘The biggest difficulties renters face is that they have to move so often and when they do, there’s a massive upfront fee. 

‘It costs £25 to have a credit check but lettings can charge up to £150 or in some cases £600 – what a rip off. It should go. That’s what the legislation I’m proposing is all about.’

The campaign also has the support of Shadow Housing Minister, Teresa Pearce, and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan.

For more information about this campaign go to change.org/makerentingfair or email press.uk@change.org.

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June 13, 2016 1:54 pm