Hiba Mahamadi 01 November 2017

New draft bill to ban letting agent fees

New draft bill to ban letting agent fees image

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will introduce a draft bill to ban letting agent fees today.

The Tenant Fees Bill aims to cap holding deposits at a maximum of one week’s rent and security deposits at six week’s rent.

It will also impose a £5,000 fine on individuals who breach the ban, and allow tenants to recover unlawfully charged fees.

The aim is to improve affordability and transparency in the private rental market and prevent estate agents from charging a fees to both tenants and landlords.

Communities secretary, Sajid Javid, said: ‘This government is determined to make sure the housing market works for everyone. Tenants should no longer be hit by surprise fees they may struggle to afford and should only be required to pay their rent alongside a refundable deposit.’

Responding to the announcement, Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Housing Spokesman, said: 'This ban on letting agent fees and a cap on holding deposits will bring much-needed clarity for the private rented sector.

'Excessive fees are a concern for tenants and councils, as they hamper access to the market and put pressures on other tenures, such as social or supported housing.

'If the Government expect local authorities to enforce the ban, it’s vital that they provide the resources and funding that will be needed in order to make such enforcement successful. That means making sure up-front funding is provided to support Trading Standards, and that a national information campaign is undertaken to make tenants aware of the new rules.

'The LGA has previously asked for councils to have greater flexibility to deliver area-specific private rented sector licensing schemes. This bill would be the perfect opportunity to provide this, but, as a minimum, the Government should make sentencing guidelines for Housing Act offences a priority, so that appropriate fines can be awarded in court.

'A thriving private rented sector contributes to a balanced mix of affordable housing in communities, and we know that with the right measures, that can be delivered – but only if councils are adequately resourced to ensure their residents are fully protected.'

It’s party time image

It’s party time

Paul Marinko tries to help the sector navigate the web of policy commitments for local government on offer after 12 December.
Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness image

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness

With the support of stakeholders, including forward-thinking local authorities, Beam’s innovative support model ‘swiftly removes every barrier faced by homeless people from entering the workforce’, says Seb Barker.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Executive

South Kesteven District Council
Up to £127k
South Kesteven is a district with plenty going for it. Grantham, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: South Kesteven District Council

ASC Occupational Therapist - Early Intervention Team

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41425 per annum
We are looking to recruit 2 Occupational Therapists to work within Clacton or Colchester. Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dy England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Youth Support Worker DofE

Essex County Council
£995 - £1049 per annum
Our Youth Support Workers work with young people completing their Duke of Edinburgh's Award, supporting them to complete all sections, including their expeditions. England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duke of Edinburgh Team Leader

Essex County Council
£19260 - £21682 per annum
We are currently seeking a Youth Work Team Leader to supervise the development of the Duke of Edinburgh program and delivery of youth work projects, as well as work directly with young people in informal settings and maintain professional and purposeful r England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Programme Management Office

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
As the Head of PMO, you will define and maintain standards for project management within the Highways Service. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Manchester City Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine