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Monday, November 03, 2014

Protesters demand ethical investing from landlords

A Bristol tenant group called Acornbristol has been protesting against conditions in the rental market and are looking for an Ethical Lettings Charter which calls for:
  • An end to rolling tenancies
  • Reasonable notice periods for repossessions
  • All deposits protected as per the law
  • An end to letting agency fees charged to tenants
  • DSS welcomed
  • Pledge to control when and how much rent rises
  • Reasonable deposits
  • Repairs done quickly and properly
  • Damp dealt with
  • Regular safety checks on appliances and utilities
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
It does seem a mishmash of things that are already required by the law and vague demands.  I mean what does reasonable deposits mean.  A percentage of the rent, a limit on the size of a deposits?

Other things are more serious.  The ending of rolling tenancies implies full security of tenure for tenants which would bring about a collapse in the number of properties for rent as landlords head for the exit door and sell up.  The result less choice for tenants and the flight for the exit door of good quality rental property that can be easily sold by landlords into the owner occupation market.  Not great for tenants and counter to the ultimate aim of the Charter of providing better rental accommodation for tenants.

We would however agree that rip off letting agent fees benefit nobody in the private rental sector; tenants and landlords alike.  Letting agents however, do provide a service and equally can't survive on 'thin air' alone.

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