by Ian Shires on 4 December, 2018
After pressure from Liberal Democrat Peers, the Government have today announced major concessions on the Tenant Fees Bill.
The amendments, published this evening, would significantly limit the fees that could be charged to a tenant by their landlord or lettings agent, require a greater amount of transparency when deciding not to refund a holding deposit, and limit the maximum security deposit a landlord can require to five weeks rent.
Responding to the Government amendments, Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson John Shipley said:
It is good to see the Government have listened to the concerns we raised during the progress of the Bill. These amendments will make a huge difference for tenants, who will save hundreds of pounds every year.
We also want to congratulate Shelter, Citizens Advice and Generation Rent who have worked so hard to get this Bill in the right place.
Many of the provisions in the Tenant Fees Bill were proposed in the previous session of Parliament by Lib Dem Peer Olly Grender, in her Renters’ Rights Private Members’ Bill.
Commenting on the changes to the Bill, Olly said:
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It is the vulnerable in our society who are most affected by the extortionate fees imposed by landlords and lettings agencies. The inability to pay these fees upfront can often lead to homelessness.
While I welcomed the Government bringing forward this Bill, there were a number of outstanding issues that could have had severe consequences for low income tenants or tenants on benefits in the private rented sector.
There is still more work to be done to get tenants a fairer deal, but I am delighted that the Government have listened to our suggestions and others to improve this Bill. The task now is to get this change for tenants through as quickly as possible.