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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Over 200 complaints of agents allegedly charging illegal fees

The Times claims there have been well over 200 complaints lodged with redress schemes, alleging that lettings agents tried to charge illegal fees.

Some 110 complaints have been received by The Property Ombudsman and a further 115 by the Property Redress Scheme.

They each allege they were charged for matters banned by the Tenant Fees Act which came into force in June - reference or credit checks, tenancy renewals or administration costs. 

These fees are outlawed on new contracts.

From June 1 2020 the fees will be outlawed for existing tenancies too, not just new ones.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, told the paper: “The tenant fees ban has had a significant impact, and we are already seeing agents selling up and leaving the sector.

“It was complex legislation that doesn’t fully come into effect until 2020, and therefore it’s unsurprising there is confusion, which is producing complaints.”

And even Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, admitted: “The majority of agents and landlords have stopped charging fees, so it’s disappointing that a small number seem to be trying to pull a fast one.

“The law is clear and they were given plenty of time to prepare. Tenants who are asked to pay an illegal fee should feel confident that the law is on their side.”

You can see The Times article here, although it may be behind a paywall.

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    Of more significance and importance would be the number that were upheld. It is easy to complain, not always so easy to substantiate.

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