In Scotland, tenancy fees have been abolished. The Labour Party would like England the do the same.
However, in Scotland it has had the predictable impact of pushing up rents.
City AM reports:
“Your Move, a large network of Scottish estate agencies, argues that a 2.7 per cent increase in residential rents over the past year has been driven by the scrapping of tenant fees by Holyrood. If elected next year, the Labour party has proposed to do the same.
“Before this policy was implemented, rents had been flat, relaxing the burden on household budgets and giving tenants some breathing space to climb back on their feet after the dark days of the recession. Banning fees has heightened the financial strain on tenants,” said Gordon Fowlis of Your Move….
Fowlis added: “After the consequences we’ve seen of previous government intervention, the biggest threat to the private rented sector is further unwarranted regulation.”
Brandon Lewis, Minister for Housing, said:
“Labour’s anti-business policies are harming consumer interests. Ed Miliband’s heavy-handed plans for interfering in the energy markets has forced up energy prices for hard-working families. Now it is clear that Labour’s plans for the private rented sector would force up rents for tenants. This Government is ensuring transparency on letting agents’ fees, clamping down on the small minority of rogue operators and preventing the red tape that would cut investment and housing supply.”
It is not merely that the landlords recoup the lost revenue from higher rents. There is also the significant cost of the extra bureaucracy.
This is a discredited policy and Labour should make clear that they will abandon it.