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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Tenants' Fees Bill: date set for next Parliamentary stage

It’s been announced that the next stage of the Tenants’ Fees Bill through Parliament will be its Second Reading in the House of Lords, scheduled for Wednesday October 10.

Its First Reading in the Lords - a formal process which did not involve a debate - took place last week, following the Third Reading in the Commons earlier that same day.

At that time the Commons rejected an amendment from Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski for fees to be capped at £300; it also voted down Labour shadow housing minister Melanie Onn MP’s proposal to increase potential maximum fines from £5,000 to £30,000.

At the Lords Second Reading next month there will be a debate, with a government minister introducing the measure and then contributions from Lords who - traditionally - will have already given an indication that they wish to speak.

Typically, a Lords Second Reading lasts half a day; at a later date the Bill then goes to the Lords Committee Stage, where it is examined line by line.

The measure - which is expectedly to effectively ban the levying of letting agents’ fees on tenants in England - is still on course to receive Royal Assent and become law next year.

Poll: Is it still worth lobbying MPs and Lords over fees?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • Peter Hendry

    Even with the best will in the world, it is impossible to regulate the behaviour and performance of letting (or indeed selling) agents, when the whole system and ethos by which they function is bad.

    The whole house marketing process needs a complete upgrade.

    The housing minister Heather Wheeler MP says: “Working with trading standards teams in London and across the country, we are stopping rogue landlords and agents in their tracks. The new measures in our Tenant Fees Bill will save renters around £240m a year by banning unfair letting fees and capping tenancy deposits.”

    This won’t work because the way agents function, by working on behalf of owners or landlords, needs changing.

    Until this happens, rogue letting agents will continue to exist because they will have enough incentive to want to flout the rules.

    Change the rules in a positive way, and rogue landlords will disappear.

    My blog page explains how this could be achieved using simple economic arguments and my MP knows about it. So far, he and his fellow MPs have taken no steps to investigate this. It is this that is the real nub of the problem and this which is the thing needing to be addressed most urgently.

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