The draft bill banning letting fees is under scrutiny
The draft bill banning letting fees is under scrutiny

The government’s draft bill banning letting fees is currently being scrutinised by the Communities and Local Government Committee. We have submitted evidence to the committee, which together with evidence from other organisations, will help inform the committee’s recommendations about what the final version of the bill should look like.

Here is a summary of our main recommendations to the committee about the different proposals in the Bill.

The ban on upfront fees

Shelter is very supportive of the ban … Read more

So, what's the latest on the Letting Fees ban?

We have campaigned since 2013 to ban letting agent fees – launching our ‘Letting Away With It’ campaign, which quickly received 13,000 signatures of support from people all across the country. We even produced a video highlighting just how ridiculous the fees are within the context of buying a coffee – you wouldn’t pay for fees like ‘receipt printing’ and ‘water renewal’ at a café, so why should you pay for similar charges when renting?

With the announcement of the … Read more

You won't believe this totally mind-blowing method of reducing your letting agent fees!

Letting agent fees are one of the most painful aspects of renting. Every time you move, whether into or out of a home, you’re hit with a ludicrous list of fees. And they don’t come cheap either.

One of the most ridiculous, is the dreaded administration fee for changing the name on a tenancy agreement when people move out of a shared rental property. This can cost anything up to £300.

Driven to despair, I’ve developed an ingenious, fool-proof method … Read more

What's really happened to rents in Scotland?

Last week, Estate Agent LSL Property Services used the release of their Buy-to-Let index to claim that the ban on letting fees in Scotland has caused a ‘rent hike’. This didn’t sound quite right to us at Shelter, so we decided to go away and take a closer look.

Tell me more.

When we looked more closely at LSL’s index- we found that their own figures did not stack up against this claim of a ‘rent hike’.

LSL have reported… Read more
We wish this was a joke...

Ever get the feeling people are talking about you behind your back? Or ever wondered what actually happens when you complain to your landlord or letting agent?

 Well Miguel found out first hand what both were like when his letting agent accidentally forwarded an email conversation he’d been having with Miguel’s landlord.

 This actually happened. And it’s pretty awkward.

Agent: I’ve told Miguel that you’re coming to the flat today for the boiler. Best say you’re the landlord’s brother that … Read more

Helping renters doesn’t have to mean harming landlords

You often hear people suggest the way to fix the problems with private renting is for renters to simply complain or shop around. But this presumes that renters can easily do either. Unfortunately whilst renters should feel able to complain many are fearful of doing so. Our research has found that 1 in 12 renters avoided asking their landlord to carry out improvements or repairs in the last year, because they were scared of eviction. And arguments telling renters to … Read more

Rachel- why campaigning matters

On Saturday afternoon I treated myself to a leg wax. Probably too much information for a policy blog but it provides context, I promise.

My beauty therapist was called Rachel,* and we had a chance to chat during the appointment.

Rachel is the reason that Shelter campaigns to fix private renting. Let me explain.

Rachel is moving house this weekend- she had been asked to leave her flat by her landlord. She was midway through a 12 month fixed … Read more

Nightmare letting agent stories

At Shelter we regularly come across letting agent nightmare stories.

We’ve heard of tenants being charged £100 just to view a property. Of non-refundable admin fees of £540, and of renters and landlords being double charged for exactly the same service.

In fact, nearly 11 million people have been charged an unfair fee by a letting agent according to a recent YouGov poll for Shelter – that’s 1 in 4 people in Great Britain. Furthermore, three quarters of renters … Read more