After the shock announcement in the 2016 Autumn Statement from Chancellor Hammond that there will be a ban on fees, we’ve all been left wondering exactly what that means and when it will be implemented.
In the House of Lords this week, Baroness Grender and the Minister discussed the letting fees ban, with Grender asking what the next steps would be. The Minister made it clear that the consultations, which will be in March/ April of this year, will consider the views of not just tenants, but landlords, property agents and other stakeholders.
There is a clear need for exact detail as to how the fees ban will be introduced and what it will apply to, with the Minister stating that it would be legitimate for a tenant to pay a letting agent for replacement keys if they lost them, and potentially other similar scenarios. Grender also said, ‘all fees- upfront, renewal and exit that are charged to tenants need to be included in this ban for it to work’.
As well as taking into consideration the views of those that will be affected, positively or negatively, by the fees ban, the Minister also highlighted that they would be looking at the lessons learned in Scotland after they banned fees in 2012.
ARLA Propertymark is currently compiling evidence and research into how letting agents will be affected by the fees ban, in order to present their findings to the Government.