Landlords row with parliament over landlord deposit caps

Once again, MPs are seeking to make life harder for landlords - this time with a deposit fees cap.

The plans were originally raised as part of the ban on letting agent fees to tenants, and they have reared their head again as part of the draft bill.

Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee call for five week cap

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee have said that deposits should be capped at five weeks’ rent. While this is better than the initial four weeks proposed by the Government, it could still prove prohibitively low for many landlords.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) have said, for example, that a shorter cap may reduce landlords’ willingness to allow pets in their properties “by removing their flexibility to take a higher deposit to cover for pet damage”.

At the moment the bill suggests a six week cap, but it is still up for debate before it is passed into law.

Wholesale changes ahead for landlords and letting agents

The disagreement over the deposit cap has come about as people take a closer look at the draft Tenant Fees Bill, which was proposed in the 2016 Autumn Statement and is currently in being debated in parliament.

The change to the law is aimed at removing ‘unfair’ fees charged to tenants by landlords and letting agents, and would likely be similar to the ban already in place in Scotland.

As well as capping the security deposit at five weeks’ rent, the Bill would set holding deposits at one week’s rent and allow for default fees, with all other charges to tenants prohibited. For more information, check out our article on the tenants fees ban.

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