The Prime Minister has said the government will concentrate on setting up a ban on letting agents' fees that ‘actually works’ – but would not specify a timescale.

At Prime Minister’s Questions last week, Labour MP Alex Cunningham asked about the plan and told the House:

“My young constituent paid a £300 house-reservation fee to Pattinson Estate Agents, but the agents will not refund it after their landlord client withdrew from the contract because my constituent refused to pay 12 months’ rent in advance.

“She faces having to pay another agent non-refundable fees of £650 to secure a different property.

“When will the Prime Minister act to put an end to these rip-off fees and stop these agents capitalising on young people and others?”

Theresa May directed the Labour MP for Stockton North to the Queen’s Speech which, she said, “referred to what we are doing in this area.”

Mr Cunningham asked her when this would be?

Mrs May said:“He will recognise that in this House we need to ensure that we get right any legislation that we introduce, so that it actually works.

“We recognise the problem and we are going to do something about it.”

Landlords fear that limiting agency fees will mean that costs will rise and they may well look to increase rent to cover them.

The government published a long awaited consultation into its proposed ban on letting agency fees on April 7, and a consultation was open for responses until June 2.

The ban will need primary legislation and so the actual implementation date is not clear but is unlikely to be before late 2018.