This afternoon the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) announced how its recently-launched Fair Fees Forum will adapt to the ‘surprise’ announcement of a total ban on tenants fees by Philip Hammond last week.
The Fair Fees Forum had only just began its work a week before Hammond’s announcement and had set up a working group due to meet the day after the Autumn Statement. But the news that the government intends to go for an outright ban changed everything.
NALS revealed that the Fair Fees Forum working group will instead ‘inform the scope of the Government’s consultation prior to a ban’.
The forum’s meeting on Friday was attended by officials from the Department of Communities and Local Government who ‘welcomed’ its work so NALS hopes this will give the forum’s advice greater weight at ministerial level.
While the working group agreed unanimously to help frame the consultation around the fees ban, some members reserved the right to propose an alternative.
But NALS says its key objectives will be to define what ‘fee’ and ‘charges’ are, review how the ban has performed in Scotland, and explore what the implications of the ban in England will be, and how it will be enforced.
The group said it is also to seek a meeting with housing minister Gavin Barwell to ‘explain the implications of the ban’, and also urged representatives from the Association of Residential Letting Agents and The Property Ombudsman to attend, who NALS says have so far not been present.