Senior politician claims he had briefing on fees ban from Shelter – but not from ARLA

A peer who took part in a debate about the Tenant Fee Bill on Monday in the Lords said he had not received a briefing from ARLA or any landlord body.

He had, however, read briefings from Shelter and Citizens Advice.

According to Hansard, the Earl of Lytton said: “It is not so much a question of whether a fee is charged but whether the fee is reasonable.

“The geometry of the Bill says that the fees are, in principle, unreasonable. That is how it comes across to me and, I think, to many other people.

“In passing, I have read briefings from Shelter and Citizens Advice but I have not received or read a briefing by ARLA or any other body representing landlords’ interests, so my views at this juncture are entirely my own, based on my experience.”

We asked ARLA and the Residential Landlords Association whether it was true that neither had briefed peers.

ARLA did not say whether it had issued a specific briefing, but drew our attention to one of our own stories, where we reported criticism in the Lords of ARLA’s ongoing opposition to the Bill.

The RLA last night confirmed it had not issued a briefing to the Lords on the Bill, but pointed out that its policy director David Smith had made earlier representations in the Commons about the Bill.

Meanwhile, a ban on fees has taken a step closer in Wales, where the Renting Homes (Fees etc) (Wales) Bill has been debated.

Cox said that the ban would have a “significant impact on the private rented sector” and said that further consideration is needed.

He called for reference checks to be made exempt from a ban, saying: “Without any means through which to cover the cost of this process, the most vulnerable tenants will find it very difficult to secure suitable rental accommodation.”

He added that the Welsh Assembly must now consider minimising the effect of the ban on agents, landlords and tenants.

https://www.propertyindustryeye.com/house-of-lords-slams-arla-propertymark-for-opposition-to-tenant-fee-ban/

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-06-05/debates/53a74c01-735d-4faf-a12b-3384bcc08017/TenantFeesBill(FirstSitting)

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16 Comments

  1. JonnyBanana43

    And how do we know Shelter gave him accurate information? They are  well known for socialist propaganda and fake news.

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    1. hertsagent13

      I think the point of the article isn’t whether Sheleter are correct but how inept ARLA have been. They should have been working with members 5 years ago to set a fair fee and be educating the Government on why they’ve done that. Everyone knew that shelter with success in Scotland would head south, ARLA have been a total embarrassment on this point. Thank goodness they no longer take any of my money.

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      1. PossessionFriendUK39

        and,  not Just  ARLA –  no other briefings from Anyone representing Landlords !

        As landlords are being encouraged and its not been hard to, condemn Rogue – Criminal Landlords, so to should agents censure those that charge the highest and most unjustified / unreasonable fee’s.

        Whilst in no way supporting the Total ban, you could see the impetus for the legislation as being the industries bodies being unable to ‘keep its own house in order’

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      2. mlettings

        I agree. ARLA Propertymark should be leading the industry instead of reacting to events.

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      3. DarrelKwong43

        Well said, that is the impression I get from numerous clients, who wonder why they are paying ARLA membership fees for a evidently poor service.

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        1. Woodentop

          That has been commented years ago, long before the fee ban appeared.

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  2. Peter

    Disappointed to learn that the Lords have not received any briefings from any landlord reps. Did it not occur to them that the bill needs their support as well as MP’s.

    DEFEATIST.

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    1. CountryLass

      I met with my MP and gave him information, but I have never heard back so I don’t know if it even got passed on!

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  3. Mr G

    Could it be that until the Government announce who their chosen regulating body will be, that ARLA or RLA, or any other regulating body don’t want to rock the boat, so are therefore acting in their own interests hoping they’ll be “the chosen one” rather than acting in the interest of the people who actually pay them???

     

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  4. JEL

    It seems Shelter know how Government works and ARLA don’t …. still find the position Kevin Hollinrake took to support the ban very strange

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  5. Clare Hayes

    We too had a meeting with our local MP, explained the consequences of a total fee ban.  This was before the change of housing minister (AGAIN) . We received a rejection letter of our invite to hear from the horses mouth as we letting agents know what we do and what we charge outside of the capital refusing us a meeting with the housing minister.  So much for industry research and the large bodies don’t give a hoot!

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  6. Woodentop

    You would of thought the Lords would have noticed a one sided conversation and raised the subject .. what does the rest of the world think! Oh, sorry they only look at what they are told, they haven’t the nounce to do anything themselves.

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  7. Will

    If madam May had gone to the country with only the policy of brexit she may have got away with it but she wanted to use the election to pile in all her other policies which were not popular, which is why she had a close shave and now has to rely on the DUP to keep her in power. The conservatives are mis-guided if they think that supporting tenants will get them more votes – they are forgetting they will also loose a number of votes from people who are landlords and agents who she has managed to screw over the last few years.  My guess is she is repeating mistakes in the belief that she can screw traditional conservatives and retain their vote because the Corbyn alternative is worse. I will probably vote for the clown of Billy Smarts circus – at least its a clown not purporting to be anything else!

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  8. jeremy1960

    I for one am not surprised that ARLA couldn’t be ar**d to get off their comfy chairs in their comfy offices to stand up for their members, after all,  they haven’t bothered before so why change the habit of a lifetime?  For the few at ARLA HQ, not the many who work in the business!

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  9. alanw

    The House of Lords Library note published ahead of second reading of the Bill does refer to the RLA’s concerns. See  https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/LLN-2018-0096. When you click the link to the briefing see page 2. Assiduous members of either House will have done their homework.
    Ros has already pointed to the extensive critique given by RLA policy director David Smith in the Bill committee hearing  – https://hans – ard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-06-05/debates/53a74c01-735d-4faf-a12b-3384bcc08017/TenantFeesBill(FirstSitting)
    The Tenant Fees Bill states that it is an offence to charge a prohibited fee, but it is only an offence if agents have had a £5,000 penalty notice and then catch you at it again. From a trading standards officer point of view—they will have to do the whole thing twice to get a prosecution. What a nonsense!
    While not always in full public view, I can assure you that a considerable amount of work has been put in to protect agents as well as our own landlords. RLA has worked extensively to get the Minister to see sense and amend the legislation –  for example, Government have not done enough with the Consumer Rights Act which already has a £5,000 deterrent penalty
    But come the day horse, water and drink come to mind.
    Alan Ward

    chair RLA

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  10. qweasdzxc

    If you look at https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/tenantfees/documents.html, at the written evidence section, the first document submitted (at the bottom of the list) is from the RLA : https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/tenantfees/documents.html. The fifth document is from ARLA : https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmpublic/TenantFees/memo/tfb37.htm. There is also written evidence from Shelter and the CAB.

    I don’t know if the written evidence from S & CAB are the briefing papers the peer read but I think if he was serious about his consideration of the bill he should have read all the written evidence, the majority of which is from landlords and letting agents – I only found one response from a tenant.

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