The Government has today set out further proposals to ban letting agents from charging administrative fees to tenants for moving into a property or renewing a tenancy. A cap on the size of deposits charged by landlords is also being considered.

The plans come amid concerns over the rising costs of 'unfair fees', as housing charity Shelter found that 1 in 7 tenants are charged over 500 by agents. The consultation, which will run for eight weeks, confirms plans previously announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement.

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What's being proposed

Here are the main measures being consulted on:

  • No admin fees to be charged by agents for initiation, renewal, or continuation of tenancies.
  • No admin fees from landlords or third parties to prevent 'back door' fees via other means.
  • A potential cap on deposit sizes.
  • Support for alternative schemes to asking tenants for upfront deposits.

Housing Minister Gavin Barwell said: "Tenants should only be required to pay their rent alongside a refundable deposit and not face hidden fees."

Alternatives to upfront deposits under consideration include paying in monthly instalments or blocking an agreed amount on a tenant's credit card.

Tenants may still be charged holding deposits to take a property off the market while reference checks are carried out, however. Equally, tenants will still be expected to pay for management services carried out as a result of their actions or at their request, such as fees for late rental payments or the replacement of keys.

Martin Lewis
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