LGA responds to Government announcement on letting agent fees
2 Nov 2017 09:07 AM
Cllr Martin Tett, the Local Government Association’s Housing Spokesman, responded to the publication of the Government’s draft bill on letting fees
“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 expects local authorities to enforce the ban, it’s vital that it provides 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.”
Government action to end letting agent fees
Note to editors
The 2004 Housing Act gave councils powers to take landlords to court for letting properties with hazards such as dangerous electrics, fire safety, excess cold and other issues.