In summary, the Bill will prohibit all payments by tenants to lettings agents and landlords (with a few exceptions) and introduce both civil and criminal sanctions for any breach of the ban. The committee plans to hold a series of oral evidence sessions next year with experts, tenants, letting agent and landlord associations and trading standards authorities.
The committee will scrutinise the policy objectives, key provisions and likely impact of the Bill. This includes the following:
- The Government’s objective in introducing this bill “is to deliver a fairer, more competitive, and more affordable lettings market where tenants have greater clarity and control over what they will pay and where the landlord is the primary customer of the letting agent.” The committee will assess whether the provisions of the Bill enable this objective to be achieved?
- Are the draft Bill’s provisions necessary, clear and workable?
- What are the resource implications for local authorities?
- What is the likely impact of the legislation on key stakeholders including tenants, letting agents and landlords?
The response to the consultation paper published by the Government earlier this year will also be scrutinised. The committee is however inviting written evidence on aspects of the bill based on the bullet points above. The closing date for the submissions is 14 December.
The select committee will no doubt be thorough in their examination of the bill and scrutinise the responses in detail. However, whether the outcome of this review has any impact on the bill remains to be seen.