The chief executive of the Citizens Advice consumer charity says she wants government “to do even more to strengthen the hand of the growing number of renters in a market where they have little bargaining power.”
Gillian Guy makes the comment in relation to the Tenant Fees Bill, which last week passed its final stage in Parliament before Royal Assent.
Guy is keen for Citizens Advice to take credit for many of the Bill’s provisions.
A statement from her organisation says Citizens Advice had called for a ban on fees for a decade and worked with MPs from all parties to make sure the Bill was as watertight as possible.
This included closing what CA calls “a default fees loophole” that could have led to landlords and agents charging fees by adding terms to tenancy agreements.
Citizens Advice also urged MPs to reduce the amount of money required for a deposit from six weeks’ rent to four - although the final Bill compromised on a deposit worth five weeks’ rent.
In the past 12 months Citizens Advice says it has helped 59,000 private renters. It dealt with 2,100 letting fee problems and 3,400 issues about the cost of a deposit or advance rent.
Gillian Guy says: “This is a landmark moment for the millions of people who rent privately. For too long families and other renters have had to hand over hundreds of pounds on unfair and uncompetitive letting fees every time they moved home.
“We look forward to working with the government to do even more to strengthen the hand of the growing number of renters in a market where they have little bargaining power.”