Agents back ARLA’s plea to suspend or extend the letting fee ban consultation

A considerable number of influential agents have shown support to ARLA Propertymark’s request for the government to extend or suspend the consultation period on the tenant fee ban in England.

The agents include Belvoir, Chestertons, Connells Group, Countrywide, Dexters, Felicity J Lord, Foxtons, Haart, Hamptons International, Hunters, JLL, Knight Frank, Leaders, Martin & Co., Romans, Savills, Sequence, the Tenancy Deposit Service and Your Move, as well as myDeposits.

ARLA Propertymark chief executive, David Cox, wrote to the Secretary of State at the Department of Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, yesterday requesting for the consultation period to be extended beyond 2nd June.  He urged the government to scrap the ban if an extension was not possible until after the General Election results.

In Cox’s letter to Mr Javid he also requests that the workshops, which were to be part of the formal consultation, are reinstated after the election.

The full letter can be seen below:

“As the UK’s largest professional body for the lettings industry with over 9,000 members, ARLA Propertymark requests that you extend the time limit for the consultation to ban letting agent fees in light of the recently announced General Election.

“We were pleased that a key part of this consultation process, as set out by DCLG, was to engage the sector and host a number of workshops throughout the country to discuss the implementation of the fee ban and proposals in the consultation. This was most welcome as it would have allowed agents to gain clarity from officials on some of the points raised in the document and share their views on the proposals. However, as it is likely the fee ban will become a manifesto pledge in the coming weeks and therefore a political issue, this work cannot properly take place during purdah; when civil servants will need to take extra care to remain impartial and objective. General Election guidance also makes clear that statements which refer to future intentions of the Government should not be handled by a Department.

“Therefore, ARLA Propertymark asks that the Government either extends the consultation for a further period beyond the election, or suspend it until a new Government is in place. Either way, we request that the consultation does not close until the now cancelled workshops have taken place; as the Department originally committed to do as part of the consultation process.

“I look forward to hearing from you in due course.”

Full article available on LettingAgentTODAY:

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