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Labour Party seeks letting agent fees ban

Labour will challenge the Government to back a ban on expensive letting agent fees by forcing a vote on its plans in the Commons today.

The Opposition has tabled an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill aimed at tackling the fees, which average about £350 but can be much higher.

Labour said the fees were a major difficulty facing “generation rent” as they found it difficult to cover the cost each time they need a new property.

Shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds said: “Across the country, private renters are being hit hard by David Cameron’s cost-of-living crisis and paying unfair fees to letting agents.

(London) “Homebuyers rightly don’t have to pay the estate agent who is working on behalf of the seller of the property. However, in contrast, renters have to pay to get the keys to their rental property. The average upfront fees are £350 but in high demand areas, these fees can be much more expensive.

“If they refuse to back Labour’s proposals, they’ll have to explain why they won’t stand up for the nine million people who rent, around a third of whom are families with children.

“Generation rent needs proper protection against being ripped off. A Labour government will ban letting agent fees on tenants.”

MPs are also expected to debate amendments to the Bill relating to the sale of halal meat.

Conservative MP Philip Davies (Shipley) has tabled an amendment which demands “all products containing halal and kosher meat shall be labelled as such at the point of sale”, applying at all places where the public can buy food.

The amendment has been signed by several other Tories, and also Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick, who represents Poplar and Limehouse.

The Bill aims to bring all consumer rights covering contracts for goods, services, digital content and the law relating to unfair terms in consumer contracts into one piece of legislation.

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