Government unveils letting agent fee ban details

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The Government has today laid out its plans to ban unfair letting agent fees in a drive to encourage better competition in the rental market.

The measures will stop hidden charges and end tenants being hit by costly upfront payments that can be difficult to afford.

The proposals also ban any letting agent fees being charged to tenants by landlords and other third parties.

 A statement from the Department for Communities and Local Government says: “The move will bring an end to the small minority of agents exploiting their role between renters and landlords, banish unfair charges being imposed and stop those agents that double charge tenants and property owners for the same service.”

Housing minister Gavin Barwell says: “We’re determined to make all types of housing more affordable and secure for ordinary working people. Tenants should only be required to pay their rent alongside a refundable deposit and not face hidden fees.

 “Our Housing white paper sets out other ways we will help those renting, including building more homes for rent and providing longer, family friendly tenancies.”

The Government is consulting on the proposals now.

 A report from the charity Shelter found that nearly one in four people in England and Wales feel that they have been charged unfair fees by a letting agent.

Fee levels vary considerably and the charity found that one in seven tenants pay more than £500.

Yesterday the Government announced rogue landlords face heavy fines as local authorities gained new powers to issue fines of up to £30,000.