Renewed pressure to ban letting agents’ fees to tenants

Letting agents’ fees charged to tenants are once again under pressure after London Assembly Members called on the Mayor to ban them.

The London Assembly said that letting agents had “minimal regulation”.

It said tenants across the capital needed more protection than is being offered by the recently announced London Rental Standard. This is a voluntary scheme which includes accreditation by ARLA.

In a motion proposed by Assembly Member Andrew Dismore, Boris Johnson is being urged to:

  • Ban letting agents’ fees for tenants.
  • Introduce three-year tenancies, after a satisfactory six month probation period.
  • Bring in rent controls – described as “predictable rents based on average market rents or inflation”.

Dismore said: “The Mayor’s London Rental Standard scheme will make little, if any, difference to the private tenants across our city who need protection from rogue landlords.

“There are over 800,000 private rented households in London and this accreditation scheme will only help those fortunate enough to already rent from a good landlord.

“The Mayor must support real reform of this sector. Private rented housing and lettings agents have minimal regulation.

“This must change otherwise people will continue to be ripped off and taken advantage of by unscrupulous landlords and lettings agents.”

Stephen Knight AM, who proposed an accepted amendment to the motion, said: “Currently, the Mayor’s London Rental Standard lacks a common complaints procedure, which makes it hardly worth the paper it is written on.”

He said that more Newham-style licensing schemes should be introduced in boroughs where there is bad practice.


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  1. Woodentop

    Nuts. All that will happen is these rogue letting agents will do is pass the fee onto the landlord and recover it through the rent. So a long running tenant will actually be paying CONSIDERABLY more cost in the long run, than having paid the fee upfront. I do have say however that some fees I see being charge, particularly by one corporate letting agents are excessive to being ridiculous. Our only fee is 1/3 of their referencing fee for the same work (actually we do more foot work, literally).

  2. MF

    When are these ridiculous proposal is going to stop? Go ahead, ban fees to tenants. My firm will charge our landlord clients more, and they in turn will increase rents. Three-year mandatory tenancies? Great! 3 years of mandatory fees for my firm. My concern is about the uptake by tenants – we have enough trouble selling them a 2 year tenancy, let alone 3 years. The vast majority want one year only (despite the fact that they often stay in the property for between 3 years and 5 years). Bring in rent controls? Oh dear….

  3. marcH

    I presume any response from Boris to this crazy left-wing nonsense wasn't shown above because it's unprintable…..;)


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