Newsflash - New Draft Tenant Fees Bill

Tenant Fees Ban

The Government issued its Draft Tenant Fees Bill yesterday which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/draft-tenants-fees-bill

The Government says the Bill will:

  • 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 5 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.

Draft Tenant Fees Bill

Deposits

In relation to deposits the Government intends to:

  • Cap holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than 6 weeks’ rent. The draft bill also sets out the proposed requirements on landlords and agents to return a holding deposit to a tenant.

Clearly this is the Bill as currently drafted but it is likely that there will be further amendments as the Bill progresses through Parliament; TDS will keep you updated as changes are made to the Bill in relation to deposits.

Client Money Protection

Almost all TDS Letting Agents have Client Money Protection in place and the Government now intends in the Bill to make it compulsory for letting agents to have Client Money Protection (as is now required in Wales and will be mandatory in Scotland from January 2018).

The Government is now consulting on this and we will be submitting a detailed response. 

The Consultation paper can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/mandatory-client-money-protection-schemes-for-property-agents


If you are a Landlord and would like to keep up to date with any changes that may affect you or your responsibilities, you can contact the RLA at: info@rla.org.uk and quote reference: dg715 to receive 25% off your first year's membership.

For agents who would like to stay up to date, you can contact Propertymark | ARLA at: join@propertymark.com. By being a member of Propertymark | ARLA you will be eligible for TDS Insured best headline rates.

2nd November 2017

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