Let Down – and fighting back

Will April be the month when letting agents wish they hadn’t pushed it quite so far?

In less than two weeks time, MPs will vote on a piece of legislation known as the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform bill. Last month, in the House of Lords, Dianne Hayter added a clause which would require letting agents, currently unregulated, to face the same requirements as estate agents, requiring them to belong to an Ombudsman Scheme and enabling the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to ban those who act improperly.

While it certainly isn’t going to solve all the problems A private tenant protests against high rentsprivate tenants currently face, it would be a small step in the right direction. But to get this amendment passed will need a lot of support – so Islington Private Tenants have produced a handy letter which you can send to your MP.

Meanwhile, if you think action is still needed to tackle rip-off fees (illegal in Scotland), discrimination against housing benefit claimants, and letting agents’ role in pushing up rents, you probably need to join the day of action being organised by London Renters, a coalition of private tenants groups across the capital.

To get inspired and link up with others taking action, come along to the skillshare being organised on Saturday at 2pm at St George’s Town Hall, 236 Cable Street, London E1 0BL (map).

See you there or on the streets!

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