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Consumer group welcomes confirmed ban on letting agents' fees

The consumer group Citizens Advice says it welcomes the Queen’s Speech confirmation of the upcoming ban on letting agents’ fees levied on tenants in England, suggesting it could save hundreds of pounds for 4.5m households.

“Citizens Advice has long called for a ban on letting agent fees with people paying an average of £400 to letting agents for standard administration, such as carrying out references and credit checks.  It’s important that this ban covers all fees” says Gillian Guy, chief executive of the organisation.

“Seventy four per cent of private renters with children have experienced problems with the quality of their home, including broken heating and no hot water” she adds.

“So we’d also like the government to look at improving the quality of housing in the private rented sector, by introducing maximum timescales for landlords and letting agents to carry out repairs” says Guy. 

Earlier this year Citizens Advice commissioned a survey of 2,000 tenants - carried out by YouGov - found that of households earning £50,000 or more, 69 per cent paid fees to their agents with nine per cent paying more than £1,000.

Some 19 per cent paid between £500 and £999 and 20 per cent paid between £250 and £499.

The same survey claimed 51 per cent of private sector tenants with a household income of £50,000 or more experienced damp or mould in their current property. 

Meanwhile, a fifth said they had a rodent or other animal infestation. 

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