Earlier this week MP’s in the House of Commons were asked to vote on a Labour motion which would have seen a ban on letting agent fees for tenants.
Currently, when buying a property the buyer doesn’t pay the estate agent a fee, all fees are paid by the vendor. However, when renting, the tenant faces what can often be a hefty administrative fee to get the keys, in addition to fees which are paid by the landlord to the estate agent. Labour believe this is an anomoly in the market that needs addressing, especially as more and more people are privately renting in the long term due to a lack of affordable properties to buy.
Todd Foreman, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for North East Somerset wrote to his opposite number, the sitting Conservative MP for the seat, Jacob Rees-Mogg, publicly calling on him to stand up for the 12.5K private renters within the authority area and support the call.
The vote was defeated by 53, including a vote against by Jacob Rees-Mogg MP. And last week, Jacob Rees-Mogg was one of only eight MPs to vote against a measure to require landlords to install smoke alarms in rented homes.
Responding to the outcome, Todd Foreman said:
“Despite a 49% increase in privately renting tenants in the B&NEs area in the last decade, the Tory MP is siding with blind faith in the free market over what is going on in his own backyard.
“The shift in demography of those privately renting tells us that its not just students and young couple renting anymore but families who rent as a long term option as house prices rise but wages stagnate. We need to be adapting to the world as it changes around us and the staggering change in NE Somerset needs an MP that will respond with it and make every vote cast in the House of Commons one that has a positive impact on the people he represents.
"And last week Rees-Mogg voted against the interests of tenants again when he was only one of eight MPs to oppose a measure to require landlords to install smoke alarms in privately rented homes. Rees-Mogg's vote will leave both tenants and firefighters less safe and demonstrates that his anti-government conservative ideology is out of step with the needs of most people in North East Somerset.
“The thousands of renters in North East Somerset will be disappointed by their representative having rejected sensible measures to help with their ongoing battle with the household budget, and to promote safety.”
Jacob Rees-Mogg MP did respond to Todd Foreman’s letter.