Tenant Fees Bill - Campaign Toolkit

In the Autumn Statement 2016, the Government set out its plan to ban tenant fees in England. The proposal will have a negative impact on tenants, landlords and agents and runs contrary to the government’s stated aim of encouraging longer term tenancies.

The draft Tenants’ Fees Bill was announced as part of the Queen’s Speech on 21 June 2017, only 12 working days after the consultation paper on banning letting fees paid by tenants had closed.

On 1 November 2017, the Department for Communities and Local Government published the draft Tenant Fees Bill. The bill will:

  • Cap holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than 6 weeks’ rent. The draft bill also sets out the proposed requirements on landlords and agents to return a holding deposit to a tenant.
  • Create a civil offence with a fine of £5,000 for an initial breach of the ban on letting agent fees and creating a criminal offence where a person has been fined or convicted of the same offence within the last 5 years. Civil penalties of up to £30,000 can be issued as an alternative to prosecution.
  • Require Trading Standards to enforce the ban and to make provision for tenants to be able to recover unlawfully charged fees.
  • Appoint a lead enforcement authority in the lettings sector.
  • Amend the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to specify that the letting agent transparency requirements should apply to property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

The fees that you currently charge tenants remain completely lawful as long as they are clearly displayed in branches and online.

Support Our Campaign

We are leading the campaign to ensure that the Government focuses legislation to ban fees more effectively to meet the objectives of a better deal for tenants and higher living standards in the private rented sector.

Agents need to get involved, have a dialogue with their constituency MP candidates. MPs should not make decisions about the future of property management without knowing all of the facts.

Contact Your Local MP

  • It is vital that legislators see beyond the headlines and understand that this is not a black and white issue. Contact your MP to make sure that they have all the facts when they debate and vote. 
  • We have provided a template letter for you to use to write to your constituency MP on your own letterhead.
  • Every MP is obliged to hold face to face surgeries for constituents. Speak to your MP’s constituency office and book a meeting: Use the online parliamentary tool to find your MP’s contact number.
  • We have provided easy reference briefing papers outlining the primary research that we have commissioned and conducted. There is a briefing paper for you to give to your MP at your meeting and talking points to support you in those conversations.

Write to your local MP

KEY:  Please feedback the response that you receive from your MP to us. This will ensure that we can monitor and map engagement with legislators and follow-up with supportive candidates. Send your responses to lettingfees@arla.co.uk

Letter

Letter

Use this template to write to your
Constituency MP Candidates

Download

megaphone

Talking Points

A proposed meeting agenda, key points and FAQs to support your conversations with candidates

Download

clipboard

Briefing Paper

Briefing paper summarising the key arguments for you to give to your MP candidates when you meet them

Download

Graph

Economic Analysis

Analysis conducted by Capital Economics
assessing the impact of the letting fees ban

Download

Letter

Industry Open Letter

We have written an open letter to the government co-signed by our largest corporate members.

Download

Our Response to the Consultation

On 7 April 2017 the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) released the consultation which states:

  1. No agent, landlord and any other third party will be able to charge tenants any fees, premiums or charges that meet the general definition of facilitating the granting, renewal or continuance of a tenancy; and
  2. Tenants should only be required to pay their rent and a refundable deposit.

The consultation accepts that there are exemptions that should continue to be met by the tenant. These are:

  1. Holding deposits to take the property off the market whilst reference checks are undertaken; and
  2. In-tenancy property management service charges arising because of the action of the tenant – such charges could include arranging for replacement keys, repairs carried out as a result of deliberate damage or breach of the tenancy agreement, or late rent payment charges.

We want to thank the 1000+ members who have written to us, shared views and helped to ensure that we are representing the concerns of all of our members with our response. We would also like to thank any agents that have submitted their own responses to the consultation.

Read our consultation response

Get in Touch

We are stronger when we come together as a single industry voice and we hope you can support us in our campaign. If you have any questions that relate to our campaign, please email lettingfees@arla.co.uk.