ePetition details

Ban Bidding wars in the private rented sector

We the undersigned petition the council to support ACORN Southwark’s campaign to Ban the Bids and to work with ACORN to strengthen the rights of private renters in the borough.

The private rented sector makes up 28% of homes in Southwark, equivalent to 37,500 households. The majority of those living in these households will go through an estate or letting agent in order to rent those properties. There is currently no overarching statutory regulation of private sector letting or managing agents in England, although they are subject to consumer protection law and specific provisions in relation to the charging of fees and membership of redress schemes.

Some tenants are now being forced into practices that worsen and contribute to the ongoing housing crisis in Southwark and London. This includes bidding against other renters, paying months or even years of rent upfront, or signing exploitative tenancy agreements in an attempt to get a place to live.

A New Economics Foundation survey of 1,001 people across England, also shows 39% of private renters that have moved in the last year are paying above the advertised rent for their property. The median amount paid over the asking rent by the household is £100 a month (12%). The mean amount is £190 a month.

Bidding wars, when people are encouraged to offer higher prices than in the advert, pit tenants against each other, creating insecurity for those searching for a secure home and driving up rents, contributing to displacement in our community.

We are asking Southwark Council to support ACORN Southwark’s campaign to Ban the Bids and to work with ACORN to strengthen the rights of private renters in the borough.

This ePetition ran from 07/06/2024 to 19/07/2024 and has now finished.

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