So will the ban on lettings agents charging fees push tenants rents up?
That’s the question many renters will be asking after the government’s autumn statement announcement.
Is it as simple as good news for tenants and bad new for Letting Agents?
The 250,000 tenants who have signed the “Make Renting Fair” petition will be jubilant they are to be banned. “I have paid as little as £80 and as much as £552 in agency fees on different fees. How is it possible that fees can vary so much from agency to agency? Vicky Spratt, who set up the campaign said It’s a rip-off and the agents are getting away with it, all the way to the bank”.
But when the ban comes into force will it simply mean the rent goes up instead?
Fortunately we can look to Scotland for guidance. Since a ruling in 2012, tenants in Scotland can only be asked for just the rent and the deposit – everything else has to be paid by the landlord.
Housing charity Shelter has carried out detailed research on the impact. It found that landlords in Scotland were no more likely to have increased rents after the ban came into force than landlords elsewhere in the UK.
But Scottish letting agent groups disagree, arguing that rents rose when fees were banned. A House of Commons select committee decided the evidence was inconclusive.
Watch this space as these changes are due to be implemented in April 2017 and please feel free to add your comments.