The Liberal Democrats appear to be taking what they see as the credit for the government’s commitment to ban letting agents’ fees imposed on tenants in England.
A blog entry on the Liberal Democrat Voice website says one of the party’s peers in the House of Lords, Olly Grender, previously worked for Shelter where she developed a passion for housing issues.
She continued this in the Lords with a Private Members’s Bill last year - reported at the time on Letting Agent Today - which would have outlawed these fees.
“Five days after the debate, the government announced the measure” says the blog entry, clearly suggesting a cause and effect link.
Now in response to the government’s launch of the formal consultation on the proposed ban, Grender writes on the blog: “Too many renters are being ripped off by unfair letting fees and left behind by our broken housing market. A total ban on all tenant fees must be brought in as soon as possible, including renewal and exit fees, to avoid agents getting around the ban by the back door.
“The only fair system is where landlords pay the fee, to stop agents double-charging.
"The government must not bow to pressure from letting agents who are lobbying hard to protect their profits. They have had time to improve voluntarily but they have failed to act. Unscrupulous letting agents must clean up or close down.
“It’s important that the letting agents don’t win the day.”