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Tenants let down by lack of enforcement of letting agent fee laws

Government needs to do more to better enforce existing regulations designed to improve transparency around letting agent fees before looking to ban them outright, according to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), which has called on MPs to debate plans to ban fees.

Since May 2015 the law has compelled letting agents to publish details of the fees they charge. Agents breaking this law can be fined up to £5,000.

However, figures published earlier this year by the National Approved Letting Scheme found that after two years of the law coming into effect, 93% of councils had failed to issue a single financial penalty to a letting agent for breaching the law. Only three penalty notices had been served across England for failure to display all relevant landlord and tenant fees.

Instead of banning letting agent fees paid to tenants, the RLA is calling for immediate action to better enforce the law as it currently stands. This includes the Government using powers it has so far failed to use to force agents to display the fees they charge in more prominent positions and specify them in much greater detail.

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