22 June 2017
More than six months after first suggesting the idea, the government has announced plans to ban fees to lettings agents in England. A new Tenants’ Fees Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech, which will stop tenants having to pay money to agents.
The commitment was announced by the Conservatives in the 2016 Autumn Statement.
ARLA Propertymark, which represents letting agents, said the new rules would cost 4,000 jobs.
However the measure is likely to pass into law, as all the main parties had it in their election manifestos.
The average amount paid in fees is currently £223, according to government figures. The chancellor, Philip Hammond, previously said that 4.3m households pay such fees every year.
However, the housing charity Shelter found that one in seven renters pays more than £500, and tenants in London have complained about fees of up to £2,000.
The fees are for taking references, getting credit checks, or investigating immigration status.
When the bill becomes law, landlords will have to find the money to pay for such fees themselves.