Lettings is our business, not just part of it!

The ban on agents letting fees has been thrown into disarray as General Election is called.

The consultation on the ban on letting agent fees has been thrown into disarray by the snap General Election.

The series of workshops which the Department for Communities and Local Government planned to hold with agents has been cancelled – but the consultation itself is continuing, even though it ends on 2nd June, just days before the election itself.

However, Parliament is being dissolved on 3rd May, so there will be no MPs – much less, constituency surgeries – from then on.

The announcement, issued yesterday, that DCLG has called off its workshops confusingly says that it might hold workshops AFTER the consultation has closed.

DCLG said yesterday: “It was announced this week that a General Election will be held on 8 June. As we are now in a pre-election period, we sincerely regret to announce that we are unable to continue with the workshops scheduled between 28 April and 11 May to support the consultation on banning letting agent fees paid by tenants. The consultation will remain open until 2 June.”

“Subject to the new Government and the consultation responses, additional workshops discussing the letting agent fee ban may be held later in the year.”

The workshops that have been cancelled had been due to run in London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham.

However, questions must now be asked whether electioneering candidates (not just current MPs) will be interested in hearing agents’ views on the fees ban; whether they will simply regard it as a vote winner; and why on earth DCLG has, out of fairness, either not simply cancelled the consultation for now, or extended the closing date.