The BBC has waded into the lettings reform debate after Victoria Derbyshire’s show on BBC 2 revealed that 76% of the 1,000+ people it polled want the government to regulate how homes are let and that 74% want caps set on private rents.
Those interviewed by public policy research firm ComRes during early October on the show’s behalf this year were asked whether they supported the government regulating the ‘terms of lettings’ including agency fees, the drawing up of contracts and deposits, and it is this area of reform that garnered the greatest support.
But there was less backing for two other suggestions. Only 69% supported rent rises being capped at the point of renewal and just 63% liked the idea of increasing the standard minimum letting period from six to 12 months.
The show interviewed several unhappy tenants including a 28-year-old who said she paid agency fees of £500 when moving into her current one-bedroom flat in London, and who has moved home eight times at a cost of £5,000 over the past decade.
The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire website also quoted Alan Ward, chairman of the Residential Landlords Association (pictured), who said rent controls would be a “disaster” and that “experience shows [that] they lead to landlords cutting investment or quitting the market”.
“The way to moderate rents is to encourage investment and boost supply,” he said “The problem is not about a lack of regulations but proper enforcement of them, and we support local authorities in their efforts to root out criminal landlords.”