Latest News

MPs recognise our call for more enforcement

19 April 2018

On 19 April 2018, the influential Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, made up of MPs in Westminster, released its second report following the evidence sessions as part of its inquiry into the Private Rented Sector and Draft Tenant Fees Bill. Read More...

Propertymark urges Government to streamline redress with ombudsman portal

13 April 2018

ARLA Propertymark and NAEA Propertymark have submitted a joint response to the Government’s consultation on Strengthening consumer redress in the housing market by calling for an ombudsman portal for housing related complaints with one ombudsman for private housing and another for social housing. Read More...

Banks in Scotland told to offer dedicated client banking

12 April 2018

The Scottish Code of Practice, which was introduced on 1 April 2018 made it mandatory that all lettings agents have a separate and dedicated client account. Read More...

4,700 responses to ban on fees consultation

Tuesday 11 July 2017

On 5 July 2017, Roger Godsiff, the Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hall Green asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the merits of ensuring that legislation on letting agent fees will include provisions to prevent landlords from passing on any increases in their costs to tenants via higher rents.

The new Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, responded on 10 July outlining, “The Government recently announced in the Queen’s Speech its intention to publish a draft bill to ban letting fees paid by tenants in England. A ban will mean that tenants are better able to search around for properties that suit their budget with no hidden costs. This is preferable to tenants being hit with upfront charges that can be difficult for them to afford.”

Mr Sharma added, “The approach taken in the draft bill will be informed by the recent public consultation, which closed on 2 June and received over 4,700 responses. These responses are being analysed. The Government will publish its response to the consultation in due course and further information on the draft bill will follow.”

Queen’s Speech

On 21 June 2017 the Queen’s Speech announced (only 12 working days after the consultation closed) that the Government will bring forward a Draft Tenant’s Fees Bill to tackle unfair fees on tenant and make the private rental market more affordable and competitive

What does this mean?

The Bill will include:

1. Measures to ban landlords and agents from requiring tenants to pay letting fees as a condition of their tenancy.

2. Measures to enforce the ban with provision for tenants to be able to recover unlawfully charged fees.

While we wait for the Bill to be published we expect any provision for tenants to recover unlawfully charged fees to relate to agents who charge fees beyond the date that the legislation passes into law. It would be totally unprecedented if fees that were charged prior to the passing of the law could be recovered.

How will it work?

The draft Bill will bring forward proposals to ban landlords and agents from requiring tenants to make any payments as a condition of their tenancy with the exception of the rent, a capped refundable security deposit, a capped refundable holding deposit and tenant default fees

The holding deposit must be no more than one week’s rent and security deposit at no more than one month’s rent.