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Fees Ban will particularly hurt tenants in selective licensing areas - claim

The National Landlords Association says it’s concerned the Fees Ban coming into effect in just two days’ time may limit access to rented property for tenants in areas with selective licensing.

The Tenant Fees Act, which comes into effect on June 1, limits fees landlords and letting agents can charge tenants. Because of this, many agents have signalled they are unlikely to provide post-tenancy references that are currently charged for.

However, the NLA is worried because most selective licensing schemes require landlords to complete reference checks. 

If tenants are unable to satisfy these checks, landlords will be unable to let to them without breaching the conditions of their selective licensing.

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA, says: “Tenants are at risk of losing out on the chance to find a home because letting agents are doing everything they can to minimise workloads to cut down on costs.

“While landlords who self-manage their portfolios will be covering many increased in costs, letting agents are looking at any way they can limit what they have to do on behalf of tenants, now that the costs cannot be directly recovered.

“The smooth running of the housing market requires a little give-and-take and, unfortunately, the reaction of some letting agents to the ban on most charges looks set to throw-up more barriers to moving from one tenancy to another.

“Just like private landlords, letting agency businesses are being put under increasing pressure by government regulation. However, they must realise that penalising outgoing tenants by refusing to provide references will ultimately cost them more than just the price of a reference as landlords opt to do without agents altogether.”

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