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Letting fees: MP Kevin Hollinrake initiates Parliamentary debate on ban

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MP Kevin Hollinrake – who co-founded Hunters of which he is now chairman – is sponsoring a Parliamentary debate on the proposed ban on letting agency fees in England.

The debate is on Wednesday, September 6, at Westminster Hall between 9am and 11am.

The intention to abolish letting agent fees charged to tenants was made in the Autumn Statement last year, and a consultation closed on June 2 this year after receiving over 4,700 responses – half of which were from tenants.

The consultation paper said that landlords, not tenants, should pay for the services of a letting agent.

It said there is an expectation that the full cost of fees currently paid by tenants should not be passed to landlords on the basis that “there is evidence that a number of agents are charging excessive fees and that some agents are double charging landlords and tenants”.

It also recognised that some landlords will reflect the increase in rent levels

In the Queen’s Speech this summer, it was announced that the Government will bring forward a draft Tenants’ Fees Bill to tackle ‘unfair fees’ and ‘make the private rental market more affordable and competitive’.

A House of Commons briefing paper was published at the end of July. It quotes Shelter Scotland which says that the ban in Scotland “has been a positive success for Scottish private renters … any negative side-effects … have been minimal for letting agencies, landlords and renters, and the sector remains healthy”.

A consultation about letting agent fees in Wales is open until September 25, while a consultation into a proposed ban in Northern Ireland has recently closed.

Debates at Westminster Hall are open to the public:

http://www.parliament.uk/visiting/visiting-and-tours/watch-committees-and-debates/westminster-hall-debates/

Hollinrake is the Tory MP for Thirsk and Malton. He co-founded Hunters in 1992 which floated on the stock market in 2015 and now has some 200 branches.

Hollinrake does not have a housing market brief but is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7955

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