[INFOGRAPHIC] When Is the Tenant Fee Ban? (And Why Hasn’t it Happened Yet?)

[Update: The Draft Tenant Fee Ban has been published! Check it out here.]

A ban on letting fees was announced back in 2016, so why isn’t it in place yet?

It’s been going on for so long that the department responsible has even changed names – and the new MHCLG (formerly the DCLG) has said that the ban on letting agent fees to tenants won’t happen until after spring 2019.

Although it was announced in November 2016, a lot has happened since then to cast doubt on the policy:

  • The Government that announced the ban has lost its majority
  • The housing minister lost his seat
  • the policy consultation was cut short
  • the MP who seems to have been entrusted with championing the debate is also the chairman and co-founder of Hunters Letting Agents
  • The housing minister changed again

Meanwhile, every day that the Government delays the ban on letting fees, renters across the UK are paying £100,000s in letting agent fees.

Our infographic timeline explains all…

are tenant fees banned from letting agents and when will the tenant fee ban come into force?

9 Replies to “[INFOGRAPHIC] When Is the Tenant Fee Ban? (And Why Hasn’t it Happened Yet?)”

  1. perhaps the reason being. if the tennant stops paying the fees. then the letting agent will bill the landlord for the fees, as there are many politicians who are landlords. they dont want to pay . it all boils down to greed,

  2. How can we get the government to pick this up and prioritise it again!? I’m definitely going to contact my local MP and I would encourage others to do the same. You can find your local MP here: https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

    My partner and I will be looking for a new place to rent in London later this year after our landlord has decided to sell the property. I was hoping we wouldn’t have to pay any more hefty admin fees to a letting agent just for the pleasure of giving them business but it appears we might be forced to do so and feel very let down by the government on this! Glad to discover Open Rent and hopefully will find a place to rent via your agency service, but if this is not possible, I’m definitely going to haggle the fee with any other agent and would advise other people to do the same. If enough people refuse to pay their admin fees, it could possibly force a change in their attitude without the need for legislation.

    The argument that letting agents will just charge landlords more and rents will go up is just ‘male cow manure’. It’s a blatant double charge purely driven by the simple fact they can get away with it. In an open and competitive market, if a letting agent tried to put up landlord fees then the landlord will take his/her business elsewhere. If the majority of agents clubbed together to put landlord fees up across the board, at least the landlord has the option to rent it privately or start their own letting company if they own enough property. However unlikely, if enough landlords did this, it would force agents to reform their business models. Unfortunately tenents don’t have this luxury as everyone needs a place to live or go homeless! But more people should not just accept the status quo and fight the systematic profiteering by simply negotiating/haggling on all their fees and charges. My approach to negotiation is to have fun doing it. Don’t be afraid to do so and remember if you don’t ask, you don’t get – good luck all.

  3. If you ban letting fees, the letting agents won’t get paid. They won’t work for nothing. They will have to charge the landlord, who will then increase the rent. This way the tenant will have a higher rent for perhaps many years anc could end up paying significantly more over the length of the tenancy.
    Surely a better way would be to have government fixed fees so tenants know what it is costing them.

    PS I am an estate agent

    1. Hi Andrew. Thanks for your comment. Yes it would definitely be better for tenants if they knew how much money they needed to pay when moving home. It seems that the best way to achieve this would be just to ban fees, so that tenants know it would be £0 every time they moved.

      Letting agents are then free to charge landlords more. But crucially, unlike tenants who are currently forced to pay whatever the agent charges, landlords will be able to shop around, find a better price, or just switch to an online agent.

      1. Why should it be just on the landlords to have to pay fees? If your a landlord and you have worked hard to build a portfolio or properties as your business why should it be just on you to pay? If we did this on all service industry no one would make any money, have you not thought of the wider impact the tenant fee ban has on the bigger scale? What happnes when smaller independent business close down? What fo those employees do for work? What about the lost revenue to the economy? To be fair a fee of £200.00 to pay to prepare documents to move home and secure a property does not seem unreasonable compared to solicitors who charge thousands when you move home when purchasing, what are you going to petition for next a ban in solicitor fees and mortgage broker fees?

        1. Hi Andy,

          There’s just no need to charge tenants money. I mean that in a business sense. Businesses do not need to charge tenants fees to be successful.

          What about the lost revenue to the economy?

          Tenants that don’t spend £300 on agency fees will have £300 to spend on something else – and in all likelihood, that something else will be a lot more productive for the economy, stimulating new products, etc.

          To be fair a fee of £200.00 to pay to prepare documents to move home and secure a property does not seem unreasonable

          I think that’s very unreasonable for the simple reason that it does not cost £200 to ‘prepare documents’ and ‘secure a property’! It’s basically free. Many fees are totally out of touch with reality based on what businesses think they can get away with, and this attitude has made the entire lettings industry (1) hated by tenants and (2) ripe for disruption by less exploitative business models.


    2. They get commission for managing properties (often doing nothing ) up to 10% a month.
      Mine has been fully managed by 4 agencies who did virtually nothing and creamed off the money monthly.

  4. So when I buy my next home it’s fair for me to pay a solicitor fee and mortgage broker fee? Why should it be any different for people renting to pay a fee to have it set up? Solicitor and mortgage fees are considerably higher and yet no one complains, why should letting agents work for free for tenants and landlords, plus look at the hit it will have on the economy, small business owners and impact on the rise on unemployment.

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