The proposed ban on letting agent fees for tenants was raised in The Queen’s Speech, with a draft bill due to be published ‘later this year’.
The new Tenants’ Fees Bill will prevent tenants from having to pay letting agent charges, which typically cover credit and reference checks, inventories and other administration costs.
The government’s plan to ban charges for tenants was first raised by Chancellor Philip Hammond during last November’s Autumn Statement, where he said a ban would be introduced ‘as soon as possible’.
In the wake of the Autumn Statement, many within the industry said the ban would likely lead to rent rises. This has been reiterated by ARLA Propertymark, the professional body that represents letting agents, in the wake of The Queen’s Speech.
ARLA Chief Executive, David Cox, said the “disappointing” ban would see costs passed onto tenants, while jobs within the sector might be put at risk.
The letting fees ban aims to make the rental sector more transparent for tenants, especially as the amount tenants are charged by letting agents varies hugely. The ban will also make it easier for tenants to move to a new property, should they need to, without the worry of extra fees to pay on top of a deposit.
A similar ban was introduced in Scotland in 2012.
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