10:47 AM, 3rd April 2023, About 11 months ago 103
Labour MP Diane Abbott appeared on ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ today (Monday) to push for a renters’ charter that will help protect tenants.
The segment highlighted that the number of available homes for renting in the UK has dropped by a third in the last 18 months – but rent prices have seen a 20% increase in the last three years.
Now, Ms Abbott is calling on the government to encourage more responsible private landlords.
She said: “Rents are stratospheric and one of the problems of stratospheric rents is that a lot of younger people are not going to be able to buy because every penny is going on rent.
“With landlords, we want to encourage good landlords, but we want to bear down on bad landlords.”
When asked what a bad landlord is by the presenter Kate Garraway, Ms Abbott replied: “A bad landlord is somebody that first of all uses the no-fault eviction to get you out, and a bad landlord is someone who puts up the rent every six months, every three months and that is what is causing renters so many problems.
“There’s no certainty because bad landlords just want to exploit the market.”
Ms Garraway highlighted that the government is set to end Section 21 ‘no-fault’ evictions, but Ms Abbott said there was no sign of the legislation.
She added: “It’s not down for debate in Parliament and a Labour government would put an end to no-fault evictions.”
Co-presenter Richard Madeley then asked Ms Abbott about the anecdotal stories of landlords charging potential tenants just to view a property.
Ms Abbott said: “They are now charging just to look at a property, some of them are charging a relatively small amount, £30, but some of them are charging hundreds of pounds.”
Ms Garraway said that a programme journalist had investigated and could find no evidence that landlords are charging potential tenants to view a property, other than in one or two anecdotal cases.
She added that the law, since 2020, has made the paying of these fees illegal and asked Ms Abbott where she was getting her evidence.
Ms Abbott accepted that hers was anecdotal evidence and there was no survey evidence but ‘a lot of estate agents’ are saying that tenants are being charged and ‘this is something that needs to be cracked down on’.
Ms Abbott continued: “One of the things a Labour government would do is to bring in a renters’ charter and one of the things that would say is in no circumstances can landlords charge just to view a property.”
The presenter highlighted that there is already a law to prevent this from happening, so there would be no reason to bring in a law to deal with the issue but Ms Abbott replied: “But it doesn’t seem to be biting, does it? Because you hear too much anecdotal evidence, certainly in London, of people charging to view.”
This is the interview on Twitter from Good Morning Britain with Ms Abbott.
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