The Government will consult on the letting agent fee ban for tenants in spring, the Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, has confirmed.
Government to Consult on Letting Agent Fee Ban in Spring, Confirms Housing Minister
Barwell responded to requests from John Healey, the Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, to find out when the Government plans to “bring forward legislative proposals to ban letting fees for tenants” and when it plans for “that ban to come into effect”.
The questions follow Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement in last year’s Autumn Statement that letting agent fees charged to tenants will be banned in England.
The Housing Minister has previously expressed his support of the ban.
Barwell responded to Healey’s requests: “As my Noble Friend, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, said in the House of Lords on 19th January 2017, the Government is committed to introducing legislation as soon as possible to implement the ban on letting agent fees for tenants.
“We will consult in the spring on the detail of the ban and will consider the views of property agencies, landlords, tenants and other stakeholders before introducing legislation. Impact assessments will follow the consultation and support the detail of banning fees to tenants.”
Barwell will need to take into account the views of other MPs, too, with one Conservative MP insisting that the letting agent fee ban will push rents up, making it even more difficult for tenants living in the private rental sector.
Nevertheless, tenants have recently urged the Government not to forget their promises concerning the letting agent fee ban, while lobby group Generation Rent believes the ban to be great news for renters.
While it appears that the letting agent fee ban will indeed be introduced in England, the Welsh Assembly is currently making a decision on whether to bring in similar rules for letting agents.
We will keep you up to date with developments on the lettings fee ban for tenants and its effects on the sector at LandlordNews.co.uk.