No decision yet appears to have been taken on the fate of the Renters’ Rights Bill - which had as a major plank the banning of letting agents’ fees on tenants - but political commentators say the measure is now likely to be heavily amended.
Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Olly Grender - who proposed the measure, which went through its committee stage last week - has welcomed the government’s proposed ban on lettings fees for private tenants.
However, while this fees objective is no longer relevant the Bill does contain other aims including the mandatory registration of landlords and limits on the size of deposits, plus an automatic ban for any agent or landlord named on a ‘rogue operator’ database from being granted an HMO licence.
“Our relentless campaigning to get tenants’ letting fees banned has finally paid off and the government has recognised this is the right thing to do” says Grender.
“It’s no coincidence that just five days after the debate on our Renters’ Rights Bill, which urged the government to ban these fees, they have agreed to make this important change. Now they must agree to our calls to make renting safer and more secure too.
“Any cost actually incurred should be covered by the lettings agent’s client—the landlord—not by the tenant. Far too often these high up-front costs are proving a barrier to tenants, who simply cannot afford to move” she says.