Close loopholes in the letting fees ban
The Government has introduced a Bill to ban fees charged by letting agents to tenants. Unfortunately the Tenant Fees Bill says that letting agents would still be permitted to charge vague “default fees” to tenants and for “reasonable” costs to the landlords of changing the tenant in a shared house, creating loopholes which means that dodgy operators could continue to charge extortionate fees to renters.
It’s great news for tenants that the Government is moving on its promise to make private renting fairer and cheaper, but we need to remove ambiguities that are open to abuse. We also need to make sure the ban is enforced properly, as cash-strapped councils might be slow to respond to reports of agents charging illegal fees. Otherwise, we risk this Bill failing to achieve its goals for renters.
The Bill is being debated in Parliament on Monday 21st May. Please email your MP asking them to help private renters by voting in support of the Bill, but to raise concerns during the debate about loopholes which could leave the door open to landlords to charge rip-off fees to tenants.
Please use our template as a starting point for your email, and include any experiences you have had of letting agents or landlords trying to impose unfair terms or costs on you.
We have written more about the Bill on the Generation Rent blog.