The Government has announced the publication of the Draft of its long-anticipated Tenants’ Fee Bill today.
The draft Bill has been the subject of much speculation over the past year within the private lettings market, and will contain further details on controversial topics such as:
- Banning letting agents charging tenants fees
- Capping holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent, and security deposits and no more than four week’s rent
- The proposed requirements for letting agents and landlords to return holding deposits to a tenant
- Creation of a civil offence for an initial breach of the fees ban, and eventual creation of a criminal offence if a person has been fined or convicted of the same offence within a five-year period. Fines of up to £30,000 are being tipped as an alternative to prosecution.
- Requiring Trading Standards to enforce the ban
- Provision for tenants to recover unlawfully charged fees
- Appointment of a lead enforcement authority within the sector
- Amendment of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to include major portals such a Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation in the need for transparency requirements.
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