You are here: Home - Mortgages - Buy To Let - News -

Tenants one step closer to letting agent fees ban

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The government has introduced a draft bill to push ahead with a ban on letting agent fees to make renting fairer for millions of tenants.

The Draft Tenant Fees Bill has been introduced to Parliament today, designed to help millions of renters avoid costly upfront fees.

It comes as evidence shows the fees charged are often not clearly or consistently explained, leaving many unaware of the exact cost of renting a property.

The government is also to consult on making membership of client money protection schemes mandatory for letting and managing agents. This will ensure greater protection for both landlords and tenants, allowing them to be compensated if all or part of their money is not repaid.

The government proposes to cap holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than six week’s rent. The draft bill will also set out rules on the requirements of landlords and agents to return a tenant’s deposit.

Anyone caught breaching the ban on letting agent fees will be subject to a £5,000 fine for an initial breach, treated as a civil offence. It will then become a criminal offence where a person has been fined or convicted for a repeat offence within five years. This carries a maximum £30,000 penalty as an alternative to prosecution.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid, said: “This government is determined to make sure the housing market works for everyone. Tenants should no longer be hit by surprise fees they may struggle to afford and should only be required to pay their rent alongside a refundable deposit.

“We’re delivering on our promise to ban letting agent fees, alongside other measures to make renting fairer and increase protection for renters.”

All the proposals set out in Parliament today relate to England only and are subject to Parliamentary scrutiny before it is introduced as law. The consultation will run for six weeks from today.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Autumn Statement: Everything you need to know at a glance

Yesterday Chancellor Jeremy Hunt made his first fiscal statement in the role, outlining a range of tax measure...

End of Help to Buy: 10 alternatives for first-time buyers

The deadline for Help to Buy Equity Loan applications passed on 31 October. If you’re a first-time buyer who...

Moving to an energy prepayment meter: Everything you need to know

As households struggle with the soaring cost of energy, tens of thousands of billpayers are expected to move o...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week