The Fair Fees Forum, a platform for letting agencies and trade bodies set up by the National Approved Lettings Scheme, has been asked by a government representative to concentrate on considering how the proposed ban on fees levied on tenants could operate.
The forum, launched by NALS last October shortly before the government announced it wished to ban fees on tenants in England, met last week.
A minute of the meeting says the representative from the Department for Communities and Local Government, which will effectively draft the proposed ban, reminded the group of the government’s policy.
“Therefore, the excellent work of the group should be focussed on continuing to provide evidence and data to help inform government on the fee ban and how best to make it work” the minute continues.
The forum was attended by agents including Belvoir, Chestertons, the Connells Group, Countrywide, Hamptons, Hunters, LSL Property Services, Northwood, Savills, Spicerhaart and Winkworth as well as trade bodies, redress organisations, the DCLG and even Shelter.
The forum also discussed the implications of the fee ban in terms of loss of service to tenants, possible increased cost for tenants in accessing a tenancy, the potential decrease in choice of agent for consumers, and an increase in self-management by landlords - all against a backdrop of a lack of regulation in the sector.
The group also backed a call from NLAS - reported here in December - that the Competition and Markets Authority should be asked to review fees and charges in the lettings market.
The forum is to meet again after the start of the government’s formal consultation process on the proposed fees ban - no date has yet been given by DCLG for this.