Steve exposes rip-off letting agents
Across Croydon North, tenants are being forced to pay rip-off fees to lettings agents who help them find private homes to rent. This week, research my office conducted has exposed cases where some tenants are receiving demands for more than £1,000 in fees and charges by unregulated agents – even before the deposit or first month’s rent are due.
Some prospective tenants are forced to pay a fee to register with the lettings agent and to view properties, then find they are also charged a finder’s fee to secure a property. Other fees charged by unscrupulous agents include up to £500 for ‘handling the deposit’ or ‘administration fees’ that can also amount to £500.
Over the last few months, I’ve joined the calls of my Labour front-bench colleagues who want to see tough regulation of lettings agents to prevent these abuses, but the Tory and Lib Dem MPs have voted down these proposals at every turn. Every week I hear stories of hard-pressed residents in Croydon are having their pockets picked while the Government and our Tory council stand back and do nothing.
At the same time, Tory-led Croydon Council’s decision to remove several thousand residents from the housing register has added to the pressures on private rented accommodation. We need action now to curb these exorbitant fees and charges that are hitting people who don’t have any money to spare.
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