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There’s no going back: Tenant Fees Bill receives Royal Assent

The Queen has signed the bill, which will come into effect on June 1st this year, although guidance on how it is to be implemented is expected to be published before that.

Nigel Lewis

The Tenant Fees Bill has received Royal Assent and the new act of parliament will soon be followed by official guidance outlining how the new regulations are to be implemented.

Due to come into effect on June 1st this year, the news of its final journey into law has been heralded by Secretary of State for Housing James Brokenshire. He said it would “help renters keep more of their hard-earned cash” and prevent tenants being “stung by unexpected costs from agents or landlords”.

The government recently confirmed that the fees ban is likely to cost landlords £82.9 million during its first 12 months and lettings agents 157.1 million.

David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA, said: “We’ve known the tenant fees ban has been coming for a long time, but with only 109 days to go until it comes into force, the industry must start taking time to prepare.”

Baroness Grender imageLiberal Democrat peer Baroness Grender (left) took to social media to say: “It was something I started as a Private Members Bill in 2016 and it’s been a long hard struggle.

“But not as much of a struggle as it is for everybody who rents and gets ripped off by these fees that are paid to lettings agents.

“Some are good agents, but there has been an awful lot of overcharging and bad fees that sometimes tip people over into homelessness. That is why I’m absolutely delighted that we are changing that.”

Not everyone applauded the bill. Personal finance specialist Becky O’Connor at Insurance giant Royal London said that although she welcomed its Royal Assent, she said it “does not address the “structural issues of increasingly unaffordable rents, a lack of supply of decent private rental accommodation or the problem of security of tenure for people who want to put down roots while renting”.

February 13, 2019

2 comments

  1. There’s always going to be a simple response to this and that is, why didn’t they just cap the fees?
    As an agent, we’ve charged a fair fee for many years with no increases and nobody, and I mean nobody, complains. It’s for referencing and admin at the outset only. No mid year fees, re-sign fees, cleaning fees etc etc etc.
    Why didn’t they just attack the high fee chargers and cap it?

  2. The more they mess, the more it backfires, which will equal less private rented houses and less homes. Notice they don’t ban FTB mortgage arrangement fees? Oh yeah, because their chums run the banks.

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