Private Rented SectorMay 1st, 2015
Thank you for contacting me recently regarding the problems that many people in the private rented sector are experiencing, including rising and insecure rents.
I agree this is a huge and growing problem and that it is contributing to the cost of living crisis that is affecting so many households in our constituency and across the country.
11 million people now rent in the private sector, including 1.5 million families with children. Too often those renting in this sector can face sharp and unpredictable rent rises and feel unable to control one of the most fundamental parts of their life.
The current Government has completely failed to address this. Renters are paying more than £1,000 a year more in rent than in 2010. This Government has presided over the lowest peacetime level of housebuilding since the 1920s and the number of affordable homes being built has fallen every year, putting the dream of homeownership increasingly out of reach for many people.
Labour will end this insecurity and provide a fairer deal for renters. We will legislate for secure three-year tenancies and cap rents so they can fall but cannot rise by more than the rate of inflation during this period. We will also require landlords and letting agents to disclose the rent levels charged to previous tenants so that renters can negotiate the best possible deal at the start of their contract.
Labour will also ban letting agent fees – saving the average household £625 over the next Parliament – and introduce a national register of landlords in order to drive up standards and root out bad practice. This will be accompanied by the biggest housebuilding project in a generation, with 200,000 homes being built per year by 2020, and wider steps to boost homeownership.
I agree that tackling rising and insecure rents and delivering more affordable housing are absolutely central issues at this Election. That is why I believe it is so important we have a Labour Government.
Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.