Plans to stop letting agents charging tenants unfair fees

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Measures to ban tenants being charged unfair fees by letting agents have been unveiled by the Government.

The proposals will stop hidden charges and put an end to tenants being hit with costly fees up front.

It comes amid concerns that some letting agents were double charging tenants and property owners for the same service.

The proposals also ban any letting agent fees being charged to tenants by landlords and other third parties.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell said: "We're determined to make all types of housing more affordable and secure for ordinary working people.

"Tenants should only be required to pay their rent alongside a refundable deposit and not face hidden fees.

"Our housing white paper sets out other ways we will help those renting, including building more homes for rent and providing longer, family friendly tenancies."

A report from the charity Shelter found that nearly one in four people in England and Wales felt they had been charged unfair fees by a letting agent.

Their research found that one in seven tenants paid more than £500, with others paying considerably less.

Some agents charge things like a reservation fee or a moving-in charge, on top of a tenant's deposit and first month's rent.

A consultation has now been launched and will run for eight weeks.