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Westminster Hall debate on fees

Tuesday 15 August 2017

A Westminster Hall debate for MPs on the proposed ban on letting agent fees has been scheduled for 6 September at 9.30am. The debate has been called by Kevin Hollinrake MP for Thirsk and Malton, Chair and founder of Hunters Estate Agents.

The MP believes that tenant fees are a complicated issue. Speaking during a debate in the House of Commons in May 2016, he said:

“There is clearly not a free market for tenants, who follow property rather than choose between letting agents because of fees, so it is an issue that we need to address. However, letting agents rely on these fees for income, and so that income would have to come from somewhere else; it could be added to rent or else come from higher fees for landlords.

"Agents may also choose to take the most secure tenants and prefer those with good credit histories, rather than take a risk on a tenant with an inferior credit history, because of the risk of having to do the work twice, which would add to their costs. There is a potential issue there, so should we consider a cap rather than abolition?”

For reasons partly referenced by Hollinrake, ARLA Propertymark continues to campaign for the costs of referencing work to be borne by the tenant. The Westminster Hall debate takes place soon after parliament returns from recess but many MPs are working in their constituency during part of the recess.

While it appears that the consultation on the ban was not executed rigorously, it remains absolutely essential that all letting agents contact their MP to educate them about the issues that lie beneath the surface.

If you have not yet contacted your MP please make use of the ARLA Propertymark campaign toolkit to support your dialogue with your local MP and ensure that they understand the facts before they go into the debate.