The government has been urged by a London council to act now to end letting fees for private renters.
Hackney council says immediate action is required because of the failure of the government to provide a clear timescale to introduce its own measure.
The government first announced last year that letting fees, such as charges for signing new tenancy agreements, would be banned in England. The measure was then included in the Draft Tenants’ Fees Bill in June’s Queen’s speech, but without a clear legislative timetable for its implementation.
The letter to housing minister Alok Sharma from the Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, requests full details on when the ban will come in and assurances that the proposal will not be watered down.
The letter is a follow up to the councils’ own request for agents in its patch to voluntarily ditch fees.
Hackney council claims the 32,000 private tenants in the borough pay an average of £400 in letting fees per tenancy, with many paying upwards of £500. It claims that with a two-bedroom home in Hackney now costing on average £1,820 per month – over £300 more than it did in 2011 – fees “are contributing to private rents becoming increasingly unaffordable even for people on middle incomes.“