Renters Rights Bill could ban letting agency fees

Renters Rights Bill could ban letting agency fees

Renters Rights Bill could ban letting agency fees

Renting homes privately is commonplace particularly as home ownership is not that easy nowadays. Getting your first rental place or moving to another property can be very expensive with a deposit to pay, a months rent in advance and often extortionate lettings fees. All this in addition to the usual costs of moving house. However this has not gone unnoticed and the new proposed Renters Rights Bill could ban letting agency fees and protent tenants from being ripped off.

The Bill

Baroness Olly Grender, a Lib Dem peer recently submitted proposals for the Renters Rights Bill which aims to address the many  concerns of practices in the private rental market. Proposals to put a cap on high lettings fees, bring in mandatory safety checks, stop landlords letting to multiple families were included in the document. Multiply occupancy occurs where more than one family share one living space. Another somewhat controversial proposal is to make public a blacklist of rogue landlords. The Bill has been through two readings and will be go to a committee and redrafted before a vote it taken and it can then be submitted before the House of Commons. The Renters Rights Bill looks to be huge step forward in tackling these issues, not lease the fact that agency fees are completely unregulated and can be from £25 up to hundreds of pounds per tenant. Click here for timescales and further information.

Are there any drawbacks if this came into force?

The Bill is largely welcomed by consumer rights groups but there are some inevitable side affects. Landlords may feel compelled to put up rents and passing increased costs onto tenants. Jeremy Leaf, former chairman of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors speaking to the Telegraph (10th June, 2016) warned that a total ban on fees could lead to rents rising as costs are passed on to tenants. The rogue list although good in principle could have a huge impact on a small time landlord owning one or two properties if they make the list as a result of a single dispute which may not have even been their fault.  There is nothing to show what part the tenant may have had in the dispute. At present there is no rogue list of tenants so perhaps that’s a consideration for the next round of discussions. Local Authorities currently have access to such as list.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out but Baroness Grender has certainly raised an important issue that affects many of us whether we own our own home or not as these issues have a wider impact on the health of the housing market and the economy. Most of us know someone who is renting and something has to give somewhere before we are all priced out of our own homes.


Zero deposit mortgage launched by Barclays

Zero deposit mortgage launched by Barclay’s with the Family Springboard Mortgage

Sounds great, well there is a catch to the family springboard mortgage as the borrower(s) will have to have the support of a helper who is willing to put 10% of the purchase price aside in savings linked to the mortgage. This product could be great for people still living at home and want to get on the property ladder but it could be a big ask of family members to commit to something like that However they will get their money back with interest after three years providing there are no missed payments. Worth looking into and available to first time buyers and home movers.

Customers who don’t have any deposit could get a three-year fixed rate of 2.99% with the  family springboard mortgage and those with a 5% deposit could get a three-year fixed rate of 2.79%.

Family members opening a helpful start savings account linked to the mortgage will receive an interest rate of 2% (the Bank of England base rate plus 1.5%) which can be cashed in at the end of the three year period providing that the borrower has kept up with repayments.

The zero deposit mortgage launched mainly in response to home ownership being largely considered unaffordable for many single people or couples on low and middle incomes. It has been well documented that there is a great many people and couples living with their families in a bid to save up for a deposit on a home. Two other lenders offer similar products include Lloyds Bank, Lend a Hand mortgage and Yorkshire Building Society Offset Plus mortgage. If these products become popular, more will follow suit so watch this space. However I do wonder that this is the start of the poor lending seen before to the burst of the 2008 housing bubble with mortgage offers of up to six times a person’s salary and 100% plus LTV (loan to value).

Barclays Family Springboard Mortgage

Yorkshire Building Society Offset Plus Mortgage

Lloyds Bank Lend a Hand Mortgage

Free access to your credit score

Free access to your credit score – no need to sign up for subscription services and free trials

If you are a Barclaycard or Tesco bank customer you can get free access to your credit score and receive regular updates. Many people are familiar with Equifax, Experian and Credit Expert who often offer a free 30 day trial and then charge around £15 per month. However the credit card companies are offering this free to all customers.

If you are not a Barclaycard or Tesco Credit Card customer, you can still access your credit score and some basic services through Noddle. This is great if you are thinking of getting a mortgage, loan, credit card, buying a new car on finance or moving to a new rental property as these providers will almost always do a credit score on application. Let us know if you have ever signed up for a credit report service and your experiences of this. Was it easy to cancel? Did you feel it was value for money? Also give the services mentioned below a try and send us a review in the comment section.

Barclaycard and Tesco Bank give free access to credit scores