Barnet Labour has welcomed the announcement by Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, that Labour in government will ban lettings fees for tenants, and introduce long term 3 year tenancies and predictable rents.
The move could help thousands of tenants in Barnet where rents are the highest in outer-London.
Housing charity Shelter has defined the level of Barnet’s private sector rents as “extremely unaffordable” - the average private rent for a two bedroom home takes up about 56% of average take-home pay. In Barnet the average private rent for a two bedroom home is about £1,200 a month, £1,614 per month for a three bedroom home and £2,909 per month for a four or more bedroom home. And rents in Barnet have been rising by an average of 7.1% every year.
Barnet Labour has pledged to build more genuinely affordable homes for rent and purchase if they win the local elections on 22 May. They have also pledged to introduce a private tenants’ rights charter, do more to tackle rip-off lettings agents, and investigate establishing a not-for-profit lettings agency to help local renters struggling to pay high lettings agents’ fees.
Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Alison Moore said: “This announcement will help support good landlords and protect tenants, whilst dealing with rogue landlords who impose excessive rent rises without proper review.
"It also supports our local pledge to be on the side of good tenants and landlords by introducing a private tenants' rights charter and to work with both tenants and landlords through our independent housing commission.”
Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Julie Johnson said: “Getting rid of rip-off lettings agents’ fees could save people entering a new tenancy agreement £350 on average – a large sum of money that tenants have to pay each time they move in addition to deposits. That’s got to be welcome news to those struggling to pay bills.”