The consumer charity Citizens Advice has hailed the Tenant Fees Act and the ban on letting agents’ charges to renters as “momentous.”
It claims to have been calling for a ban on fees for a decade, and says it has “worked with Parliamentarians across the political spectrum to make sure the Bill was as watertight as possible.”
Citizens Advice had urged government to reduce the amount of money required for a deposit from six weeks’ rent to only four weeks. The Act has compromised on a deposit worth five weeks’ rent.
Holding deposits are capped at one week’s rent and security deposits are capped at five weeks’ rent, or six weeks if the annual rent is above £50k. Changing the tenancy will normally be capped at £50 or “the reasonable costs”.
“The end of these uncompetitive and unfair letting fees is a real win for renters” claims Gillian Guy, the charity’s chief executive.
“The new law means families and other renters don’t have to hand over hundreds of pounds every time they move home” she continues.
And she adds: “We look forward to working with the government to further strengthen the hand of renters in a market where they have little bargaining power.”
Citizens Advice says private renters in England have been paying £13m a month in letting fees.
It also says it’s helped more than 190,000 people with housing problems in the past 12 months although under a third of these were people living in the private rented sector.