‘Nothing to fear’ from housing rental plans

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A property litigation lawyer in Lancashire has reassured landlords that they have nothing to fear from proposals put forward by Labour leader Ed Miliband to reform the housing rental market.

Ed Miliband has announced plans for longer tenancy agreements which also make it harder to evict tenants as a quick way of increasing rent, caps on rental increases, and a ban on letting agents charging their tenants high fees.

These changes are designed to help those living in rented homes, as part of a pledge by the Labour Party to tackle the cost of living crisis.

According to figures quoted by Mr Miliband, nine million people are living in rented homes in the UK – including more than one million families and two million children.

Iain Wharton, head of litigation at Lancashire law firm Napthens, said: “I don’t think landlords have much to fear. The practice of terminating tenancies to increase rent is not as prevalent as Mr Miliband suggests. In reality, terminating a tenancy more often than not leads to an empty property and periods without a rental income at all.

“The proposals may actually result in increased levels of rent. Landlords always attempt to set rent based on their assessment of the market over the term of the tenancy. Similarly, attempting to cut a letting agent’s fee as has been suggested, simply means that the fee will be incorporated into the rent over the term, so the tenants will ultimately still pay the fee.”