The second reading of the tenant fee bill was delivered in the House of Lords outlining the measures the government is going to take to create a fairer playing field for landlords and tenants in the UK rental sector.
With a focus on unfair letting fees and the requirement for agents to join a client money protection scheme, it will look to help tenants overcome the initial financial barrier of securing a rental property.
Adam Male, director of lettings at online lettings agent, Urban.co.uk, said: “Today’s progression of the tenant fee bill was a step in the right direction for transparency and professionalism in the lettings sector, but a step in the wrong shoes.
“It will no doubt see those it aims to penalise recoup lost revenue under another guise at the expense of both landlords and tenants.
“The bill is sure to bring protest from much of the traditional lettings market, but the fact of the matter is, they’ve made a rod for their own back through the exploitation of tenants via below the belt fee charging.”
Urban.co.uk has found that traditional letting agents were getting away with extortionate charges such as £200 to change a surname on an agreement, £40 if you weren’t married to your significant other or an additional £90 to move in on a Saturday.
Male added: “The unfortunate reality is that this isn’t the solution and these bad apple agents will always find a way around the introduction of restrictive legislation.
“The silver lining is that tenants will at least have more stability and security around their financial commitments and won’t be at the mercy of immoral, out of the blue fee charges.”