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Written by Conor Shilling

With the election moving closer by the day the rhetoric surrounding parties’ policies has started to ramp up. 
 
Most recently franchise letting agency Belvoir has come out against the Labour Party’s proposals for the Private Rented Sector (PRS) – which include a ban on fees charged to tenants by agents, rent caps and minimum term tenancies. 
 
Belvoir director Dorian Gonsalves has described Labour’s proposals as anti-business and flawed. 
 
“The Labour party is blatantly targeting the PRS to try and win votes from the UK's nine million renters. However, in my opinion their proposals are not only anti-letting agents, they are also anti-business and will in fact harm tenants - the very people that Labour say they want to help,” he said. 
 
He cites a recent report published by industry expert Kate Faulkner (Private Rented Sector 360 Degrees) as providing the conclusion that it is not the UK’s PRS that needs remedying but housing supply. 
 
In defence of agents, he said: “The majority of letting agents work extremely hard on behalf of tenants as well as landlords and it is completely appropriate that tenants bear the cost of this work rather than landlords.” 
 
“Outlawing tenant fees will simply mean that tenants will suffer, with letting agents unable to provide them with the standards of service and levels of protection they deserve.”
 
He added that if landlords are forced to bear the brunt of a ban on tenant fees, but are unable to increase rents to cover them, it could lead to large numbers of investors exiting the rental market. 
 
Gonsalves concluded by saying that he has encouraged all Belvoir franchise owners to write to their tenants and landlords to make them aware of the possible problems for the PRS under a Labour government. 
 

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