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Government explains why lettings fee ban is still 15 months away

The government has explained why the ban on letting agents’ fees on tenants will not be implemented until spring 2019 - because it will take a substantial period for the legislation to get through parliament.

Yesterday the National Approved Lettings Scheme revealed that it had tried to get to the bottom of when the long-awaited ban was going to start; it asked the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government for a start date, and was told it would not be before spring 2019.

Now the ministry has explained directly to Letting Agent Today that the all-party Communities and Local Government Select Committee of MPs is carrying out pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Tenant Fees Bill - the legislation containing the ban. 


The ministry told us that it expects the ban to come into force after spring next year - 15 months or so from now - one the proposals have been fully scrutinised by Parliament and stakeholders.

A MHCLG spokesman told us: "This government is determined to make sure the housing market works for everyone. That’s why we’re delivering on our promise to ban tenant fees, alongside other measures, to make renting fairer and increase protection for people in the private rented sector.

“We announced our Tenant Fees Bill, which has been first published in draft so it can be fully scrutinised by everyone affected. As confirmed in our written evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, we expect the ban to come into force after spring 2019.”

  • Simon Shinerock

    15 months for common sense to prevail, not long enough I fear

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    Common sense often doesn’t apply to miss placed crowd pleasing legislation and the best outcome we can hope for is for a cap as opposed to a complete ban. Hopefully MHCLG will listen to the consultation instead of ignoring it!

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    I think a Cap on fees would be good all round but agents could run into the danger of Landlords employing agents with the lowest fee thinking that applicants will be doing the same, although I think sensible landlords would look for reputation and transparency of agents as well as service

  • Angus Shield

    Well that's our meagre fees going up for the next 15 months then........

    I wonder if this will create a local equilibrium whereby higher agent fees reduce, and lower agent fees increase (whilst still permitted), thus creating the 'self-regulation' we are all caperbal of and Government (or their puppets) do not believe?

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     i wonder if they will ban all fees for every one who charge an admin fee, make every one work for free, why don't the government travel to meetings for free and not get paid for attending meeting. my Admin fee is very low and always has been, our fees are to cover the wages of the person who goes out and does the viewing and pays for the referencing, rental prices are going down due to the government allowing all the extra accommodation to over take our cities. they will try to bankrupt the little man forgetting its the little man who pays there taxes as well. why dont they try asking the people working in the industry instead of just trying to ruin them. 

  • Paul Singleton

    Let’s just hope that this is put together intelligently. A fee cap would surely be the best and fairest option all round. From my point of view it’s simple:
    1. A fair and transparent fee cap.
    2. Rents go up to cover lost revenue.

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    Nice of the MHCLG spokesman to illustrate the insincerity of the political classes by stating that they want to make sure that the housing market works for everyone - everyone, that is, apart from the people who actually make it work, which to say, the agents. Utter mendacity!
    A cap on fees would be fine and fair. Most agents charging reasonable fees now would settle for that and not find themselves out of pocket, I surmise.
    As to fees being recovered through higher rents and charges, I think not. In our thinly populated part of the world, no agent is going to be the first to publish increased fees and thus drive work into the offices of the competition and few landlords will want to make their properties un-competitive in rent terms in order that their agents can maintain income. There will only be one class of victim

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    Landlord bashing seems a sport! this government can,t house people, we can and should get help!
    This government seem a bunch of clowns with no idea at all!
    BTL is a business and should be treated as such and not discriminated against.
    I am building up to selling out and let the council's house everyone!


    I have already started. Disaster looms just as it did back in Harold Wilson's halcyon days. The sentiments are the same. The new laws are a little different but they will achieve the same thing.
    Nothing available to be let
    Thousands of small houses on the market which will never be sold because they are a bad investment and because tenants will have more rights than thje landlord and can expect hotel quality support at zero cost.
    Building societies refusing to lend on these properties for the same reasons so the properties will stay unsold.
    People screaming for help to rent and who are quite happy to risk a few unlikely problems.

    The solution last time was the "Vile" section 21. Actually, if I may say so, Section 21 was heaven sent to get lettings started again and all tenants had to do was pay their rent and look after the property. The small properties were soon returned to the letting market as well.

  • Paul Singleton

    I’m selling several of my houses now as I’m sick and tired of the way the government are treating landlords. Imagine if a plumber had a van on finance for his business but couldn’t put it through as a legitimate expense, or a politician couldn’t put through traveling expenses, oh sorry that will clearly never happen. Bunch of clowns making stupid decisions. Where are all these tenants going to go??


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