ARLA calls for extension on fees ban consultation
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) Propertymark, the UK’s largest professional body for the lettings industry with over 9,000 members, has called on the government to either extend or scrap its proposed consultation period on banning letting agents' fees.
Twenty agency groups have also backed this call, including high-profile names such as haart, Knight Frank and Your Move. The consultation period on this fees ban is currently set to last until June 2nd, but in light of the General Election announcement ARLA has asked that this be extended. Alternatively, the body would like the consultation to be postponed until after the election.
In a letter, ARLA Propertymark chief executive David Cox told communities secretary Sajid Javid that "as it is likely the fee ban will become a manifesto pledge in the coming weeks and therefore a political issue, this work cannot properly take place" during the pre-election period.
Mr Cox also pointed out that General Election guidance is that any statement referring to the future intentions of a government should not be handled by a department of that government, as this issue currently is by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
In addition, the ARLA Propertymark chief executive asked Mr Javid to reinstate a series of workshops for letting agents on the proposed fees ban. These had recently been cancelled, but the DCLG had committed to holding them as part of the consultation. Mr Cox asked that the consultation not close until they have taken place.
In the letter, Mr Cox said that the DCLG's decision to hold these workshops "was most welcome as it would have allowed agents to gain clarity from officials on some of the points raised in the document and share their views on the proposals".
The full list of agencies backing ARLA Propertymark on this issue is Belvoir, Chestertons, Connells Group, Countrywide, Dexters, Felicity J Lord, Foxtons, haart, Hamptons, Hunters, JLL, Knight Frank, Leaders, Martin & Co, Romans, Savills, Sequence and Your Move.