Agents have been warned to be on their guard for the letting fees ban to be attached to another Bill and brought forward.
The warning comes from ARLA managing director David Cox and follows Wednesday’s NALS conference where a civil servant said the ban was unlikely to be implemented until 2018 because of the need for primary legislation.
However, Cox said yesterday: “My expectation last week was that a ban on tenant fees would take 12-18 months to implement.
“This expectation has been confirmed by DCLG although there is no guarantee that legislation will not be added to an existing Bill which would bring the timetable forward.
“Agents have to start to make practical preparations now.”
He said that ARLA will now launch a lobbying campaign to ensure that legislators fully understand the implications of a ban.
Cox also said that it was unclear whether the ban would address up-front fees, or all fees.
Yesterday, said Cox, he attended a meeting at which DCLG was unable to answer the question or give any information as to what would be included in the ban.
Cox criticised the lack of information ahead of the consultation on what looks like a done deal on government policy which is due to be launched in the New Year, saying: “While I think it is unlikely that any further information will be made publicly available before the consultation opens, there are still too many unanswered questions and this is unacceptable.
“The proposed ban will have a drastic impact on many people and businesses, and to announce it without consultation or clarity is wrong.”