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Competition and Markets Authority not to investigate agents' fees

The Competition and Markets Authority says there is no time to undertake a review into the lettings market and the role of letting agents’ fees, according to the Fair Fees Forum.

Last year the forum - led by the National Approved Letting Scheme - requested the CMA review fees in the lettings market, its overall regulatory framework, and how it should best operate “to ensure a fair safe experience for tenants.”

However, the CMA has said it does not believe there is sufficient time for such a review, given the speed with which the government wishes to move on the fees ban.

The forum says this is disappointing because a CMA review would provide an impartial, independent analysis to help inform the legislation. 

The CMA says it may review the detail of the consultation when it is eventually published to consider the potential for unintended consequences on competition. The CMA also agreed to take into account an evidence paper submitted by forum members.

“Given the pivotal role played by the private rental sector we feel this decision is a missed opportunity to review the way the sector works to deliver the best outcome for all concerned” says Isobel Thomson, NLAS chief executive.

“It is clear from the CMA response that it feels there is not enough time for a review before the Government legislates. That being the case, the consultation must now be published in order to begin the process of discussions. We will come back to the CMA again once the consultation document is published” she adds.

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