Thank you to everyone who contributed to making our response to consultation (submitted 1 June) as strong as possible.
The Queen’s Speech (21 June) included confirmation of the ban on these unfair fees in this Parliament. Creating new legislation to prevent landlords’ agents from charging fees to renters means that the ban is unlikely to come into effect until 2018, though. It would have been much quicker to bring about change through tabling amendments to existing legislation, of course.
Now, we hope that the much-anticipated Tenants’ Fees Bill will
- cap the sum that can be charged as a deposit to no more the value of one rental period and no more than the equivalent of one months rent.
- prohibit charging any letting fees as a condition of their tenancy
- bring an end to holding deposits but otherwise, limit holding deposits to a sum no greater than the value of two days rent
Apparently, the Bill also includes provision for tenants to be able to recover unlawfully charged fees, although whether this will be applied retrospectively is questionable. If you have to move this Summer, then, nothing has changed yet but it’s a good time to try negotiating with letting agents on fees; charging fees may still be legal today but charging fees is already known to be unacceptable today.