…By Lola Smith for TDPel Media.
A bereaved family has been compelled to pay rent as a guarantor following the death of their son, as revealed in the House of Commons.
Labour MP Helen Hayes shared the distressing story of a first-year university student who tragically died by suicide.
The student had signed a private tenancy agreement for the following year, with his parents acting as guarantors.
Shockingly, the letting agents are enforcing a clause that holds the family responsible for the rental costs despite their son’s death, causing them significant financial hardship.
Deputy Prime Minister Condemns the Practice
Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden expressed his abhorrence at the situation described by Ms. Hayes, calling it “totally abhorrent.”
He committed to investigating the details and discussing potential measures that could be implemented to address this unjust practice.
The Deputy Prime Minister acknowledged the need to protect bereaved families from such cruelty and agreed to consider including a clause in the long-overdue Renters (Reform) Bill to outlaw this requirement.
Family Suffers Devastating Loss and Financial Hardship
Ms. Hayes emphasized the devastating impact on the family, who not only have to cope with the loss of their son but also face severe financial hardship due to this heartless requirement.
The letting agency’s insistence on enforcing the guarantor’s responsibility compounds their grief and adds additional burdens during an already challenging time.
Calls for Legislative Action to Protect Bereaved Families
In light of this distressing case, Ms. Hayes urged the Deputy Prime Minister to support her call for a clause to be included in the Renters (Reform) Bill, which would outlaw this practice and provide necessary protection for bereaved families.
The plea received vocal support from fellow Members of Parliament, with calls of “shame” echoing in the chamber.
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