A survey of 91 letting agencies in England by the Labour party found that tenants are paying upfront fees averaging £902 (£1,700 in London). It also claims that the lowest fees charged in the north-east is an average of £642, which sounds wildly inaccurate. Admin fees across the country ranged between £40 and £300. Check-in fees, where charged, ranged from £60 to £150. Following from these findings, Labour leader Ed Miliband has called for mandatory regulation.
Labour claims that 60% of agents did not mention tenancy deposit protection on either their website or in correspondence. More than a quarter charged extra fees for each additional adult.
Shadow housing minister Jack Dromney said the figures expose “rip-off fees” and a “lack of transparency”.
Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats have proposed an increase in Capital Gains Tax and would like to see a return of the 50p income tax. CGT is currently at 28%, but the Lib Dems want this to jump to 40% or 45% depending on an individual’s income tax rate.
Despite talk of “encouraging” development in the private rented sector, these plans would likely discourage would-be investors and slow down growth in the sector.