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The government has announced that the ban on letting agents’ fees on tenants will now not be implemented before Spring 2019.
A spokesman from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government told media: “This government is determined to make sure the housing market works for everyone. That’s why we’re delivering on our promise to ban tenant fees, alongside other measures, to make renting fairer and increase protection for people in the private rented sector.”
“We announced our Tenant Fees Bill, which has been first published in draft so it can be fully scrutinised by everyone affected. As confirmed in our written evidence to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee, we expect the ban to come into force after spring 2019.”
Portfolio landlord James Davis, also the founder of online letting agent Upad.co.uk, says: “Ever since the proposed ban on charging upfront fees to tenants was announced in the 2016 Autumn Statement, there’s been an air of ‘will they? won’t they?’, not to mention, the ‘when will they?’.
“Whilst today’s announcement that it’s unlikely to be implemented before the Spring of 2019 provides a certain level of clarity, the fact remains that there are still many mixed messages around this move. Indeed, some within the industry still believe it’s likely to come in to effect before the end of this year
“Landlords, however, simply can’t afford to not be prepared for what lies ahead. In my experience, there’s a certain amount of ‘head in the sand’ mentality around the impact that this ban could have, both amongst letting agents and landlords.
“Unfortunately, many headlines focus on how rents will increase once this legislation is implemented but the reality for landlords is that this needn’t be the case. Most private landlords don’t, in fact, charge excessive upfront costs and by simply taking the time now to consider how else they can manage their costs, they’ll be assured of being prepared for the fees ban, whether that happens, this year, next year or indeed at all. Needless to say, by switching to an online agent, such as Upad, significant savings can be enjoyed whilst maintain the reassurance of a quality service.”