The Government has unveiled its plans to ban unfair letting agent fees, in a move that it hopes will ‘make all types of housing more affordable and secure for ordinary working people’.
The proposals will put an end to hidden charges, so that tenants will no long be hit by costly upfront payments and should promote more competition in the rental market.
The ban will also extent to any letting agents’ fees charged to tenants by landlords and other third parties.
Nearly one in four people feel they have been charged unfair fees by a letting agent in England and Wales, according to a recent report from the charity Shelter. The charity found that one in seven tenants pay more than £500 and that fee levels differ significantly.
Commenting on the proposals, a statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government said:
“The move will bring an end to the small minority of agents exploiting their role between renters and landlords, banish unfair charges being imposed and stop those agents that double charge tenants and property owners for the same service.”
Housing minister Gavin Barwell said:
“We’re determined to make all types of housing more affordable and secure for ordinary working people. Tenants should only be required to pay their rent alongside a refundable deposit and not face hidden fees.
“Our Housing white paper sets out other ways we will help those renting, including building more homes for rent and providing longer, family friendly tenancies.”
Yesterday, the Government announced that rogue landlords will now face heavy fines, as local authorities are given new powers to issue fines of up to £30,000, for offences such as harassing tenants and illegal evictions.
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