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Fair Fees Forum outlines possible risks of agents' fees ban

The Fair Fees Forum, originally established before the proposal to ban letting agents’ fees imposed on tenants in England, now says it has four concerns about possible risks if the ban is to go ahead.

Firstly it says there may be increased self management by landlords, many with limited expertise of housing management or knowledge of health and safety requirements.

Secondly problems would arise if it was not possible to charge for referencing which could lead to the exclusion of vulnerable tenants or those in receipt of housing benefit - this echoes a call yesterday by the Association of Residential Letting Agents for tenant referencing to be exempt from a fees ban. 

Thirdly the forum identified a possible lack of access for tenants who relied on a guarantor, and fourthly there were cost implications for tenants with the loss of the paralegal role of the letting agent in negotiating tenancy clauses.

The latest meeting of the forum also voiced concern about existing legislation not being effectively policed, and it being essential that enforcement arrangements and adequate resources were in place before any fee ban commenced.

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