TENANT FEES UPDATE – A WEEK ON FROM THE AUTUMN STATEMENT
Posted by Jigsaw Move Team on 13 December 2016
Taken Directly From ARLA website newsfeed reported by Sharon Widdrington.
Over the last week, ARLA MD David Cox and the ARLA team have worked across a range of channels to understand more about the plans behind the Chancellor’s announcement from the Autumn Statement.
Last week David talked across the media on a day that included six national broadcast news interviews including the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, BBC 5 Live alongside renters and industry commentators, and BBC Facebook Live (with 35 million subscribers) alongside Shelter.
ARLA President Elect Sally Lawson also addressed the media, speaking on BBC 5 Live and Radio WM. On a day of heated debate, we made rational, consistent, evidence based arguments.
Several ARLA regional meetings and one Landlord Expo took place last week and David, the Presidential team and Arbon House staff spoke to around 500 members face-to-face over the course of two to three days, taking their reaction alongside the many views that had been sent in via firstname.lastname@example.org.
David anticipated last week that a ban on tenant fees would take 12-18 months to implement. This expectation has been confirmed by DCLG although there is no guarantee that legislation will not be added to an existing bill which would bring the timetable forward. Agents must start to make practical preparations now.
The ARLA Board met yesterday and discussed the issues raised. We are now planning a targeted lobbying campaign with agents to ensure that Ministers, legislators and MPs fully understand the implications of the proposal. To have any chance of success, this campaign will need the active support of members. Scale is vital and member responses to surveys, using the tools that we create to contact relevant MPs, following the communications that we put out and attending every regional meeting is crucial.
This week, David attended the DCLG Affordability and Security Working Group. The primary question for ARLA, was whether the ban is intended to address up-front fees or all fees.
DCLG were unable to answer this or give any information about what would be included.
The consultation process which will start in the New Year will focus on how to take a ban forward, not whether to take it forward. The Consumer Rights Act will still apply and will apply to landlord fees after the ban comes into force.
The Chancellor and the Housing Minister have been contacted and the importance of discussion in person, as soon as possible has been impressed upon them. An update will be issued when progress has been made with this. ALRA will also be engaging with the Welsh government to ensure that they understand all the evidence around fees. While it is unlikely that any further information will be m ade publicly available before the consultation opens, there are still too many unanswered questions and this is unacceptable. The proposed ban will have a drastic impact on many people and businesses and to announce it without consultation or clarity is wrong.
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