At their conference in Dunfermline, the Scottish Liberal Democrats backed a radical programme of rights for tenants to empower them to reclaim illegal letting fees.
Currently, some agencies and landlords have been charging administration fees which include inventory fees, credit and reference checks, holding fees and renewing fees. However, these fees are illegal and the Scottish Liberal Democrats are backing Liberal Youth Scotland’s ‘Honest Lets’ campaign.
President of Liberal Youth Scotland, David Green, said:
“This is a great step forward. With the housing market so competitive, it is very hard for tenants to avoid being charged these illegal fees. The clarification in the law that the SNP are issuing is welcome, but we believe they should go further.
“We believe they should bring in legislation making it easy for landlords who charge these illegal fees to be struck off, ensure there is ‘Mystery shopper’ style checks on letting agencies to see if they are charging illegal fees and, importantly, to make it easy for tenants to claim back any fees they may have been charged in the last ten years.”
“I am delighted to have worked with Shelter Scotland and NUS Scotland with their campaign ‘Reclaim your Fees’ as it so important to raise awareness and ensure potential tenants are not the prey of agencies and landlords.”
Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, Grant Costello MSYP, praised the work of the campaign:
“The Honest Lets Campaign simply asks the Government and Landlords to comply with and enforce the law. It is really a no brainer when for years law abiding students and young people have been forced to with what little money they to ensure they will have somewhere to live.
“Landlords and Agencies must be made aware of their wrong doing and be forced into reparations payment”