Tenants Fees Bill: no implementation date known for some weeks
Sunday 6th January 2019
he Tenant Fees Bill goes to the House of Lords on January 15 for its Third Reading - this is the final chance for the Lords to amend the measure.
The government says it will not reveal an implementation date for the banning on agents' fees on tenants in England until after the measure has been given Royal Assent and becomes law - and that's likely to be some weeks from now.
Shortly before Christmas, at its Report Stage in the House of Lords, the government laid amendments that lowered the deposit cap to no more than five weeks' rent for properties with an annual rent of less than £50,000. "We believe these amendments strike a fair balance between improving affordability for tenants whilst ensuring that landlords and agents have the financial security they need" says a statement from from Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
After the Bill leaves the Lords at the end of January 15, it goes briefly to the Commons once again for consideration of those amendments made in the Lords - this is a short process which is likely to involve just a few minutes' debate later this month. At that point, the Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent, at which point it effectively. "An implementation date will be confirmed after the Bill receives Royal Assent" says the latest MHCLG statement.
The department also confirmed that a 'lead local authority' to police the new measure would be announced in February after a selection panel takes place.
This suggests that enforcement will be led by a council's trading standards department, following the model of the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team which is based at Powys council.