Scrutiny of Government plans to ban landlord and letting agents fees
16 November 2017
The Communities and Local Government Committee conducts pre-legislative scrutiny of the Government's proposals to ban letting fees imposed by landlords and letting agents on tenants.
'A fairer, more competitive, and more affordable lettings market'
The draft Tenant Fees Bill (PDF 716 KB) was published on 1 November and according to the Secretary of State aims to deliver ‘a fairer, more competitive, and more affordable lettings market where tenants have greater clarity and control over what they will pay and where the landlord is the primary customer of the letting agent'.
The Bill would prohibit all payments to lettings agents and landlords (aside from rent, security deposits, holding deposits and tenant default fees), cap deposits and introduce new civil and criminal offences for breaching the ban.
The Committee plans to hold a series of oral evidence sessions in the New Year with experts, tenant, letting agent and landlord associations, and trading standards authorities. These will be held in tandem with the sessions for the Committee's existing inquiry into the Private Rented Sector.
Scrutiny of policy objectives, key provisions and impact of draft Bill
During these sessions the Committee will scrutinise the policy objectives, key provisions and likely impact of the draft Bill. This will include assessing:
- The Government's stated objective is to deliver 'a fairer, more competitive, and more affordable lettings market where tenants have greater clarity and control over what they will pay and where the landlord is the primary customer of the letting agent.' Do the provisions of the draft Bill enable this objective to be achieved?
- Are the draft Bill's provisions necessary, clear and workable?
- What are the resource implications for local authorities?
- What is the likely impact of the legislation on key stakeholders including tenants, letting agents and landlords?
Call for written submissions
Prior to the publication of the draft Bill (PDF 716 KB) the Government held a public consultation on the proposals. The Committee will take into account the response to that consultation as part of its pre-legislative scrutiny. However, written evidence is invited specifically on aspects of the draft Bill as published which are considered to go beyond the scope of the Government's consultation. Submissions should address the bullet points identified above. The Committee would be grateful for such submissions to be made by 14 December.