Today (1 November 2017), a new draft Tenant Fees Bill will be introduced to Parliament. It sets out the Governments approach to banning letting agents from charging tenant’s costly upfront fees in England.
The Government claims the new bill will improve transparency in the rental market, as well as affordability and competition.
Currently, letting agents charge tenants a fee to rent a property. Fees are sometimes not clearly explained to tenants, so they’re unaware of the actual costs involved in renting.
The new legislation would prevent letting agents from double charging tenants and landlords for the same services.
Over nine out of ten tenants backed the action to ban letting agent fees, when responding to the Governments consultation. Seven out of ten also said the fees affected their ability to move to another rental property.
The draft Tenant Fees Bill also proposes capping holding deposits – to a maximum of one week’s rent. Security deposits cap at a maximum of six week’s rent is also proposed.
The bill also sets stricter rules on agents and landlords when they’re returning holding deposits back to tenants.