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ARLA to launch anti-fees ban campaign "in a matter of days"

ARLA Propertymark says it will launch a campaign against the government’s proposed ban on letting agents’ fees levied on tenants “in the coming days.”

The campaign will include a toolkit for members to help them take part in the debate and articulate their position to policy makers. “It is essential that letting agents take part in the consultation individually alongside ARLA Propertymark” says an association statement. 

It says the government’s housing policy is “shambolic” with the proposed ban contradicting its already stated aim to encourage longer term tenancies. Last month, ARLA Propertymark’s annual conference heard the findings of an independent research exercise which claimed rents would increase by £103 per year on average thanks to the ban. 

The ARLA statement continues: “The decision is a short-term crowd pleaser and we are disappointed the Department of Communities and Local Government has not considered our proposals in [its] consultation. We urge the government to use this process to think again to ensure that consumers, and the wider economy are not penalised by contradictory government policies.”

As Letting Agent Today reported on Friday, the consultation on the proposed ban on tenant fees by the DCLG will remain open for eight weeks, closing on June 2.

In the 36-page consultation document - which you can see here - the government says:

- No agent, landlord and any other third party will be able to charge tenants any fees, premiums or charges that meet the general definition of facilitating the granting, renewal or continuance of a tenancy; and

- Tenants should only be required to pay their rent and a refundable deposit.

ARLA maintains, however, that there are certain costs which arguably should continue to be met by the tenant - namely holding deposits to take the property off the market whilst reference checks are undertaken, and in-tenancy property management service charges arising because of the action of the tenant (ARLA says such charges could include arranging for replacement keys, repairs carried out as a result of deliberate damage or breach of the tenancy agreement, or late rent payment charges.)

The association also claims that agents may occasionally provide bespoke, non-standard services to tenants at the top end of the market, for example, when arranging a property for someone currently living abroad who is relocating to the UK. 

In the consultation, the government claims it is keen to understand whether there are premium parts of the market where a different approach to handling letting fees may be warranted.

  • Vince Spangenberg

    What a shame, ARLA didn't think of doing this when Scotland decided to ban fees...

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    The ARLA website didn't even mention the ban on letting agents fees in its news feed when they were introduced in Scotland.

     
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    Too little too late me thinks

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    Agree with both of the above.
    NFOPP/NAEA/ARLA/PROPERTYMARK members should realise that since the introduction of propertymark (without reasonable notice} confirms that their 'trade body' no longer represents their interests - it is a consumer protection organisation - using their subscriptions.

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    I wonder where ARLA get the £103 increase in average rent figure from. Based on the Scottish experience the figure should be closer to £1700 hence why Scottish Letting Agents are now quite relaxed about the ban and the predicted redundancies in the industry didn't happen (salaries have actually gone up). Now Shelter and the Green Party are pushing for Rent Control in Scotland as rents have gone through the roof and the proposed end of the no fault route soon to be introduced will drive them up even further.

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