Britain’s real estate agents hit by ban
Shares in leading estate agents tumbled after Britain said it would ban one-off tenant fees to try to bring down the cost of renting, the latest move to hit landlords.
Rising housing costs have become a major political issue in Britain as successive governments have failed to build enough homes to meet demand. Many younger people now rent for longer or stay with their parents to save up a deposit to buy.
Tenant fees, which go towards the cost of conducting viewings, verifying references and drawing up contracts, have become an increasingly important money-earner for the industry, averaging 337 pounds ($417), according to independent group Citizens Advice.
“We’re delighted with the government’s decision to ban them,” said Campbell Robb, the Chief Executive of charity Shelter, which helps people struggling with bad housing and homelessness.
“This will make a huge difference to all those scraping by in our expensive, unstable renting market,” he said.