After consistent pressure from the Labour Party and campaigners, the government have announced that they will abolish section 21 – a notice served by landlords to evict tenants without good reason. Though this shows incredible progress for renters rights, we still have much further to go. This is why a Labour council in Canterbury will establish an ethical letting agency to extend further support for those that are renting.
So often, adverts for rental properties bare the sign ‘No DSS’ (Department for Social Security). Though DSS doesn’t exist anymore, in practice, it means that landlords will not house tenants in receipt of housing and disability benefit. This is why an ethical letting agency would establish a collection of landlords that would not disadvantage potential tenants. Last year, an investigation by the BBC found that many landlords are more likely to rent to people with pets than people on state benefits. This shocking discovery necessitates why we need to stand with renters and against the discrimination they face.
Nationally, the Labour Party has promised to bring in legislation that will ban letting agency fees and Jeremy Corbyn himself has supported the work of ACORN – the renters union – in their campaigns. Locally, the establishment of an ethical letting agency will follow suit, by supporting all renters find appropriate properties and breaking down the barriers of discrimination that they currently face. Despite the fact that renting is growing increasingly common, with home ownership figures down, renters are still facing exploitation by rogue landlords, poor housing conditions and high costs.
This ethical letting agency would ensure that tenants were not being ripped off by landlords who are only prepared to line their pockets, whilst properties fall into disrepair. It would prevent tenants from paying extortionate costs for little gain and would only support advertise for landlords who not discriminate against those in receipt of any state benefit. This is why it is clear that a Canterbury City Council led by the Labour Party is the only option for renters locally.