A property entrepreneur has defended the letting agents who charge extortionate deposits amid a debate around a Government bill on rent controls.

Last week, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, hit out at the Government for its proposed Tenants Fees Bill – a law banning landlords and letting agents from imposing certain financial requirements on renters.

Mr Khan believes the government has “watered down” its bill to protect tenants against the increasing costs of renting a house and branded it a “missed opportunity” to protect private renters.

But Richard Woodward, who owns a property company, blamed young renters for the huge deposits and agency fees renters are faced with.

Mr Woodward, who has worked in property since he was 18, called renting rooms as part of house shares a “dirty business”.

He added: “It is very difficult for the letting agent and the industry is a risk to be in.”

Mr Khan called on the government to cap deposits at three weeks rent but ministers have proposed a six-week cap.

Analysis from City Hall found that renters in London need to find nearly £3,700 each time they move home, compared with the nationwide average of £2,000.

But capping deposits was not something Mr Woodward agreed with, again blaming young professionals for steep deposits.

He said: “Deposits do not need to be capped, they are an insurance premium.

“A lot of these young people tend to be quite arrogant and ill a mannered and you think, ‘do you really want to rent a room to these people.’

“Parents of those children need to teach them how to conduct themselves appropriately.

“When you are renting somewhere these young people want to know why you do everything you do and when they are in the property they start kicking up a fuss about anything.

“People create problems for the landlord and that means we don’t get paid.

“It is the same story and we are sick of it.”

But Hannah Slater, policy and public affairs manager at Generation Rent- a group campaigning for affordable rented homes, was quick to disagree with Mr Woodward.

She says only small number of renters are difficult to rent properties to.

She said: “It is insane that everybody else should be punished because of such rare occurrences.”

She also supported calls by Mr Khan to cap deposits at three-weeks rent, adding: “The costs of deposits and rents in London is so high we need to look at how it can be made more affordable.

“Landlords and agents can earn interest from a tenant’s deposit so that is why they charge high deposits, to make money from them, but we need to look at tenants getting that interest.”

Ms Slater suggested a good idea to help young people pay deposits would be to see letting agents “passporting” deposits.

That means that when someone needs to pay a big deposit to one letting agent, but that money is still tied up with another, the two letting agents pass the money directly between each other.

In 2016 it was announced that the Government was planning to ban letting agents from charging agency fees but that moved has not been finalised.

Ms Slater said: “The government needs to speed up with that to make sure tenants aren’t paying those fees.

“The tenant chooses the house not the letting agent so the landlord should be paying the letting agents fees.

“It is absolutely right that the government is planning to stop them.