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Green light on letting fees ban to save renters millions every month, Citizens Advice says

23 January 2019

The Tenant Fees Bill, which today passed its final stage in Parliament before Royal Assent, will stop renters being forced to pay £160 million a year in unfair and uncompetitive fees.

Citizens Advice has called for a ban on fees for a decade and worked with Parliamentarians across the political spectrum to make sure the Bill was as watertight as possible.

This included closing a “default fees” loophole that could have led to landlords and agents charging fees through the backdoor by adding unfair terms to tenancy agreements.

Citizens Advice also urged legislators to reduce the amount of money required for a deposit from 6 weeks’ rent to 4 weeks. The final Bill compromised on a deposit worth 5 weeks’ rent.

The Bill is expected to become law from 1 June. From then the only money renters should have to pay when they move into a new home will be their deposits and advance rent.

There are now 4.7 million households in the private-rented sector, the second largest tenure in England behind home ownership.

In the past 12 months, Citizens Advice helped 59,000 private renters. It dealt with 2,100 letting fee problems and 3,400 issues about the cost of a deposit or advance rent.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“This is a landmark moment for the millions of people who rent privately.

“For too long families and other renters have had to hand over hundreds of pounds on unfair and uncompetitive letting fees every time they moved home.

“We look forward to working with the government to do even more to strengthen the hand of the growing number of renters in a market where they have little bargaining power.”

Notes to editors

  1. Calculated £160m a year using figures from the 2014/15 English Housing Survey (latest available data): at that time there were 4.3 million private renting households, 30% had lived at their current accommodation less than a year, and 52% of this group paid a fee during their tenancy, at an average amount of £241.
  2. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  3. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  4. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  5. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  6. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  7. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit
  8. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 to talk in Welsh.
  9. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  10. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.