Much to the relief of private rental property tenants across England, Philip Hammond’s 2016 Autumn Statement referred to a ban on letting agents imposing fees on tenants, “as soon as possible”.
Tenants have reported being hit with fees running into hundreds or even thousands of pounds for services including drawing up tenancy agreements or carrying out reference, credit and immigration checks.
Lettings and managing agents have been legally obliged to clearly publicise their fees since 2015 – although one survey suggests 12% of agents still don’t display their fees.
Letting agency fees to tenants have already been banned in Scotland. So when might this happen in England?
The proposed ban is in its formal consultation stage until 2nd June, allowing for the opinions of property industry experts and consumer groups to have their say. It can then be drafted into law.
According to analysis by the Residential Landlords’ Association, the final law may not be implemented before late in 2018.
David Smith, the association’s policy director, says: “The ban will need primary legislation and so the actual implementation date is not clear but is unlikely to be before late 2018.”
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