Where is the threatened letting agent fees ban?
Nearly a year after the government announced plans to ban letting agent fees paid by tenants there is still no date for it coming into effect.
The move was announced by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, in his 2016 Autumn Statement, and an official consultation took place in April and June this year.
The ban would mean that tenants in England will no longer have to pay anything other than rent and a refundable deposit. Other charges will need to be picked up by landlords.
It will also cap security deposits at one month’s rent and a week’s rent for holding deposits.
The government said the proposed ban will “stop hidden charges and end tenants being hit by costly upfront payments that can be difficult to afford”.
It also said that the move will bring an end to the small minority of agents exploiting their role between renters and landlords, banish unfair charges and stop those agents that double charge tenants and property owners for the same service.
The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) welcomes action against unscrupulous agents, but says it is concerned about the impact the ban will have on landlords, already being hammered by recent tax changes, and tenants, who could see rents rise as a result.
RLA chairman Alan Ward: “We fear that extra costs could be passed on to tenants.
"The Minister must review the plans in the context of other financial pressures, such as tax changes, improvements to energy performance and the threats from Universal Credit changes.”
A Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) spokesman could not give a specific date for the introduction of the ban.
He said: “Our tenants fee bill will be first published in draft to ensure full scrutiny of our proposals by parliament and stakeholders before introducing the legislation formally.
"We shall publish the outcome of the public consultation on our proposals shortly.”
Renters pay an average £200 to £300 in letting fees per tenancy, though for many it is significantly more, says the government.
Campaign group Generation Rent found that the typical two-adult household is paying an average of £404 every time they move, with fees ranging from £40 to £813.
Meanwhile, Shelter found that one-in-seven tenants pay more than £500.