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Rochdale MP Tony Lloyd welcomes ban on letting fees

Date published: 06 November 2017


Tony Lloyd, Rochdale’s MP and Shadow Housing Minister, has "welcomed" proposals to ban letting fees for tenants, "providing councils have the resources to police the situation".

A new draft bill to ban letting fees was introduced to Parliament on Wednesday 1 November.

The draft Bill will:

  • Cap holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than six weeks’ rent. The draft bill also sets out the proposed requirements on landlords and agents to return a holding deposit to a tenant.
  • Create a civil offence with a fine of £5,000 for an initial breach of the ban on letting agent fees and creating a criminal offence where a person has been fined or convicted of the same offence within the last five years. Civil penalties of up to £30,000 can be issued as an alternative to prosecution.
  • Require Trading Standards to enforce the ban and to make provision for tenants to be able to recover unlawfully charged fees.
  • Appoint a lead enforcement authority in the lettings sector.
  • Amend the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to specify that the letting agent transparency requirements should apply to property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

This is intended to help improve transparency, affordability and competition in the private rental market, and prevent agents from double charging both tenants and landlords for the same services.

 

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