In the many conversations I’ve had with local people over the last few months, it’s become clear that the growing housing crisis is the greatest challenge facing people in Runnymede and Weybridge. And it is most acute for those who rent their home.
I hear from people every week in Runnymede and Weybridge who are increasingly fed up of rip-off charges from letting agents, unpredictable hikes in their rent and insecure tenancies – not just young people, but people of all ages, including families, across our area. Many are now spending more than half of their income on rent, as housing costs spiral out of control under David Cameron.
The insecurity and instability of the private rental market is bad for tenants and families but also bad for landlords too. Families risk being thrown out with two months’ notice for no reason. Some are told to accept huge rent rises or face eviction. That’s no way to live your life or plan for the future – particularly when you’ve got children in local schools.
Together, we can do better than this. In response to the growing housing crisis, Labour has announced the biggest changes in a generation to make the housing system fairer for those who rent their home.
The next Labour government will ban letting agents’ fees for tenants, saving people on average £350 a year. We will also legislate against excessive rent increases and make three year tenancies the standard in the private rented sector - giving people the certainty they deserve. I believe everyone in Runnymede and Weybridge has the right to a secure and affordable home.
While we’re not getting the changes we need under the Tories, I’m proud that Labour is determined to reform the market and stand up for people in Runnymede and Weybridge struggling with spiralling housing costs. If we don’t take action now, the housing crisis is only likely to get worse.