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Agenda item

PRIVATE RENTED LETTINGS

Notice of the above Motion was given in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 13.

 

Councillor Sally Littlejohn will move;

Councillor Jacob Edwards will second

           

This Council Notes

  1. The number of households renting privately in the borough has increased from 15,500 to 26,100 between 2001 and 2011[1]
  2. In 2012 a total of 31,810 privately rented properties were identified in the area and estimated that the PRS now makes up 32% of borough’s housing stock/residential dwellings.[2]
  3. With approximately 66% of all tenancies being arranged through the letting market[3]
  4. The average letting agent fee is £355 in England and Wales[4]
  5. The average costs of moving into private rented accommodation are around £2000 in London[5]
  6. One in four people have been charged what they felt were unfair letting agency fees[6]

This Council Believes

  1. High letting agency fees place an unfair burden on prospective renters who are unable to plan for unpredictable and arbitrary costs
  2. That as the private rented sector grows and the use of Letting Agencies increase it is vital to improve the security and conditions for the increasing number of tenants in Waltham Forest
  3. A lack of transparency allows Letting Agencies to double charge landlords and tenants for the same service
  4. That some agents in the letting market charge high fees, which do not reflect the service they provide, simply because they can

This Council Resolves

  1. To require letting agents to undertake comprehensive publication of their fees and charges
  2. To utilise powers granted in the 2015 Consumer Rights Act that allow the imposition of sanctions following non-publication of fees
  3. To call on the government to introduce primary legislation that will end upfront fees paid by tenants to letting agents

 

 



[1] ONS Census Data, 2011

[2] Strategic Housing Market Assessment, 2012

[3] Which? Renting roulette, Consumer experience of the lettings market, November 2012

[4] YouGov Survey, 2012

[5] Resolution Foundation, Renting in the Dark, 2011

[6] YouGov Survey for Shelter, December 2011

Decision:

The Council Noted

  1. The number of households renting privately in the borough has increased from 15,500 to 26,100 between 2001 and 2011[1]
  2. In 2012 a total of 31,810 privately rented properties were identified in the area and estimated that the PRS now makes up 32% of borough’s housing stock/residential dwellings.[2]
  3. With approximately 66% of all tenancies being arranged through the letting market[3]
  4. The average letting agent fee is £355 in England and Wales[4]
  5. The average costs of moving into private rented accommodation are around £2000 in London[5]
  6. One in four people have been charged what they felt were unfair letting agency fees[6]

This Council Believed

  1. High letting agency fees place an unfair burden on prospective renters who are unable to plan for unpredictable and arbitrary costs
  2. That as the private rented sector grows and the use of Letting Agencies increase it is vital to improve the security and conditions for the increasing number of tenants in Waltham Forest
  3. A lack of transparency allows Letting Agencies to double charge landlords and tenants for the same service
  4. That some agents in the letting market charge high fees, which do not reflect the service they provide, simply because they can

This Council Resolved

  1. To require letting agents to undertake comprehensive publication of their fees and charges
  2. To utilise powers granted in the 2015 Consumer Rights Act that allow the imposition of sanctions following non-publication of fees
  3. To call on the government to introduce primary legislation that will end upfront fees paid by tenants to letting agents

 



[1] ONS Census Data, 2011

[2] Strategic Housing Market Assessment, 2012

[3] Which? Renting roulette, Consumer experience of the lettings market, November 2012

[4] YouGov Survey, 2012

[5] Resolution Foundation, Renting in the Dark, 2011

[6] YouGov Survey for Shelter, December 2011

Minutes:

The following Motion was adopted:

 

It was moved by Councillor S. Littlejohn and seconded by Councillor J. Edwards:-

 

The Council Noted

a)    The number of households renting privately in the borough has increased from 15,500 to 26,100 between 2001 and 2011[1]

b)    In 2012 a total of 31,810 privately rented properties were identified in the area and estimated that the PRS now makes up 32% of borough’s housing stock/residential dwellings.[2]

c)    With approximately 66% of all tenancies being arranged through the letting market[3]

d)    The average letting agent fee is £355 in England and Wales[4]

e)    The average costs of moving into private rented accommodation are around £2000 in London[5]

f)     One in four people have been charged what they felt were unfair letting agency fees[6]

This Council Believed

a)    High letting agency fees place an unfair burden on prospective renters who are unable to plan for unpredictable and arbitrary costs

b)    That as the private rented sector grows and the use of Letting Agencies increase it is vital to improve the security and conditions for the increasing number of tenants in Waltham Forest

c)    A lack of transparency allows Letting Agencies to double charge landlords and tenants for the same service

d)    That some agents in the letting market charge high fees, which do not reflect the service they provide, simply because they can

This Council Resolved

a)    To require letting agents to undertake comprehensive publication of their fees and charges

b)    To utilise powers granted in the 2015 Consumer Rights Act that allow the imposition of sanctions following non-publication of fees

c)    To call on the government to introduce primary legislation that will end upfront fees paid by tenants to letting agents

 

It was then moved by Councillor J. Moss and seconded by Councillor J. Hemsted that the motion be amended as follows:-

Amend Resolution 3 to read:

To congratulate the previous Conservative led Government on passing the 2015 Consumer Rights Act allowing the Council to take these steps and to call on the current government to introduce primary legislation that will end upfront fees paid by tenants to letting agents.

 

As a result of voting the Mayor declared the amendment in the names of Councillors J. Moss and J. Hemsted lost.

The original motion was thereupon put to the vote and CARRIED unanimously.



[1] ONS Census Data, 2011

[2] Strategic Housing Market Assessment, 2012

[3] Which? Renting roulette, Consumer experience of the lettings market, November 2012

[4] YouGov Survey, 2012

[5] Resolution Foundation, Renting in the Dark, 2011

[6] YouGov Survey for Shelter, December 2011