EasyRoommate, a room-sharing website, says it is backing the Renters’ Rights Bill currently going through parliament and aiming to restrict letting agents’ fees.
The bill - which is thought unlikely to be successful - includes provisions scrapping agents’ fees for tenants, mandatory registration of landlords and limiting the size of deposits.
“Letting agency fees in England are totally unregulated. Every time you are using an estate agency to find your next accommodation, you might incur extra fees. And you have no way to predict them until before you are about to sign! The only legislation to protect renters is that agencies are made to publish those fees details on their website. A bit light, don’t you think?“ says a spokesman for the website.
“Estate agents are already the ones responsible for bringing flatsharing prices up. If renters want to be able to access the property ladder they need to be able to make some savings. The system as it is, takes advantage of the lack of supply and vulnerability of renters to tear away any savings they could make with arbitrary administrative costs” the spokesman adds.
“In order to regulate the market, and out of fairness for British renters it is only natural that the Housing Minister would legislate on rent fees.”