Latest News

Regulations on local lockdown published

03 July 2020

The UK Government has published Regulations for Leicester which clarify that agents do not need to cease viewings or close branches in areas of local lockdown. Read More...

Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill no longer proceeding

03 July 2020

The Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill that was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 1 June 2020, with the aim of controlling rent levels for Private Residential Tenancies has not been advanced to Stage 1 consideration. Read More...

Guidance launched to tackle COVID-19 rent arrears

03 July 2020

ARLA Propertymark has joined forces with other leading organisations from across the housing sector to support tenants and landlords facing rent arrears as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 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.