A Member of Parliament who says “the majority of agents” engage in “dirty tactics” when it comes to fees imposed on tenants has been challenged by an industry group - and by Letting Agent Today - to share what evidence he has for this claim.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown, is reported by the local press in Brighton to have accused agents of charging tenants unnecessarily large fees.
The Brighton Argus says: Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown, spoke in Parliament last month saying a large number of estate agents use “dirty tactics” to charge more fees from those who rent properties. He said the Tenant Fees Bill should be revised to put a cap on deposits and letting fees. He said in Parliament: “We’ve heard a lot of talk about it being a few agents, but I have been told it’s a large number of agents. “I would go so far as to say the majority of agents do these dirty tactics and that’s why this bill is needed.”
Now the Brighton and Hove Estate Agents’ Association has asked Russell-Moyle to reveal his evidence.
A statement from BHEAA president Tina Templeman - branch director of the Mishon Mackay agency in the town - says: “We saw Mr Russell-Moyle’s comments on Twitter and we believe it is unfair to label all landlords and estate agents as immoral and using ‘dirty tactics’.
“We, as an association, do not condone estate agents using underhand tactics. There is a stigma attached to agents and it’s not fair to paint everyone with the same brush. Our job is to maintain and promote high standards of the profession.
“We believe his comments are generalising. All we ask is for him to share his data, or any specific research to prove his point. If there is no research he can show us, then we ask for him to retract his statements.”
Over the weekend Letting Agent Today wrote to the MP, echoing a request to see the evidence on which he made his statement.
Russell-Moyle’s Wikipedia page describes him as “a supporter of the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn” and says that prior to first being elected to parliament in 2017 he was a local councillor and had worked at the National Youth Agency.