The Government has confirmed it will introduce the Draft Tenants’ Fees Bill to Parliament today - 1 November 2017.
The Government announced in the Autumn Statement 2016 that they would ban letting agents’ fees. From April to June 2017 the Government held a consultation on introducing a ban on letting agent fees paid by tenants.
During the 2017 Queens Speech the Government announced they would bring forward a Draft Tenants’ Fees Bill. The Government said the Draft Bill would include measures to ban landlords and agents from requiring tenants to pay letting fees as a condition of their tenancy and measure to enforce the ban with provision for tenants to be able to recover unlawfully charged fees.
According to Inside Housing the Draft Bill will:
- Cap deposits at no more than one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than six weeks’ rent
- create a civil offence with a fine of £5,000 for an initial breach of the ban on letting agent fees
- create a criminal offence where a person has been fined or convicted of the same offence within the past five years. Penalties of up to £30,000 can be issued.