A member of the select committee assessing the Tenant Fees Bill has admitted the original aim of the legislation was wrong.
Speaking at The Property Ombudsman’s national conference, Tory MP Mark Prisk – a former housing minister – said there was a recognition now that banning tenant fees could mean rents go up.
Prisk, who has been helping scrutinise legislation on banning fees with the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, said: “The Bill’s original presumption was wrong.
“It said it would make renting more affordable, as you know and as we found. The reality is if legitimate costs cannot be charged to tenants, then agents will inevitably look to the landlord, so some of those costs will fall in the form of rent.
“However, the ban and the Bill do have some benefits. It reduces the upfront costs of renting a home and means it will be spread more evenly and will help clarify for whom letting agents work.”
Prisk told delegates that regulations can only have a limited impact and said a cultural change was also needed such as through introducing qualifications and professional standards for estate and letting agents.
He also addressed the issue of leasehold reform, stating that proposals to outlaw ground rents on new-builds would be outlined in the next few days.