View guides

Lettings Fees to be Banned

Posted by Richard Ward in , ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Legislation banning landlords and agents from charging letting fees looks likely to come into force after it was announced within the Queen's Speech today.

The Queen's Speech this morning outlined a Draft Tenants' Fees Bill will be bought forward, which plans to ban letting fees being charged to tenants as a condition of their tenancy.

The legislation appears to go further than the initial consultation by indicating there will be measures to enforce the ban with provision for tenants to be able to recover unlawfully charged fees. However, at this stage it's unclear whether this will be applied retrospectively.

A survey by Citizens Advice, which formed part of the initial consultation, found nearly two-thirds (64%) of tenants had problems paying letting agents' fees, while 42% had to borrow money to do so. Meanwhile, the 2014-15 English Housing Survey found that the mean average fee paid by a household in 2014-15 was £223, although this varied significantly between location and agent.

The aim of the new bill is to improve transparency in the market while making the private rented sector fairer and more affordable.

An eight-week consultation on banning letting fees closed in April and responses will be used to inform the draft bill.