ARLA urges members to help stop the fee ban

The Association of Residential Letting Agents have called on their members to urgently lobby their MPs to help them “see beyond the headlines” and object to the government’s proposals to ban tenant fees in England.

ARLA Propertymark have prepared a toolkit for their members to encourage them to tell MPs “that this is not a black and white issue”.

The tool kit includes a letter template which members can use to write to their local MP, a guide to find the contact details for each MP and wording for an e-postcard to be shared with colleagues, landlords and suppliers giving them the opportunity to oppose the ban quickly and easily.

They are also urging member agents to meet with their MP face to face.

“We have provided easy reference briefing papers outlining the primary research that we have commissioned and conducted. There is a briefing paper for you to give to your MP at your meeting and talking points to support you in those conversations” ARLA tells its members in the toolkit.

The government set out its proposal to ban tenant fees in the Autumn Statement last year.  ARLA claim the ban will have a negative impact on tenants, landlords and agents and is conflicting with the government’s aim to encourage longer term tenancies.

ARLA believe that tenants should be responsible for meeting the costs incurred for referencing because these checks, including mandatory Right to Rent checks, are a legal requirement.  Reference checks ensure tenants are committing to rent a property they can actually afford, helping them avoid taking on any financial burdens they may not be able to meet.

The consultation published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, states that no agent, landlord or any other third party are permitted to charge tenants any fees, premiums or charges that meet the definition of facilitating, granting or renewing a tenancy.

Although the report states that tenants are only responsible for paying their rent and a refundable deposit, the consultation accepts there are exemptions which need to be met by the tenant.  These include holding deposits to remove the property from the market while tenant referencing is underway and property management charges which arise as result of action taken by the tenant.

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