We welcome the Tenant Fees Bill and the Government’s intention to make private rented accommodation more accessible.
- We welcome the Tenant Fees Bill and the Government’s intention to make private rented accommodation more accessible. Excessive letting agent fees are a concern for many tenants and councils, hampering access to the market, which in turn places pressure on housing of other tenures, including social housing.i
- Councils will have responsibility for enforcing the ban in their areas. In order for them to do so, it is required that the Government provides sufficient resources and funding. This includes adequate up-front funding to support activity on this issue, and a national information campaign to make tenants and landlords aware of the new rules.
- It is positive the Government has listened to our calls and recognised the need for up-front funding of enforcement action. Allowing councils to keep money levied through fines is helpful, but does not address the cost of proactive work. We now would like to see a commitment to this additional funding during the passage of the Bill.
- We welcome the pre-legislative report of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee. The report describes the current funding model as a ‘perverse disincentive’ for councils to engage proactively and cooperatively with landlords and tenants rather than take enforcement action.ii
- Councils will require clear and timely guidance from the Government in order to enforce the ban. This will help local authorities to bring about consistency in enforcement across the country, ensuring that there is a level playing field for tenants and letting agents.