Tenant Fees Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:20 pm on 23rd January 2019.

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Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 1:20 pm, 23rd January 2019

I could not have put it better myself. We do not want to create a situation that encourages landlords to withdraw from the market or ask tenants for more rent in advance, thus decreasing the overall net benefit of the ban on unfair charges. Also, we do not want to legislate in a way that would disadvantage certain groups, including pet owners and those who have lived abroad or have a poor financial history.

The real risk, as we have heard throughout the parliamentary process, is that a cap of four or three weeks’ rent could encourage tenants to forgo their final month’s rent payment. The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee and peers in all parts of the other House recognised that risk and agreed that a deposit of five weeks’ rent was the right compromise. Lords amendments 36 and 37 are the result of cross-party discussion and agreement. It is worth noting that the hon. Member for Great Grimsby publicly welcomed the five-week deposit cap when it was announced. With that in mind, I hope hon. Members recognise that the Government have already proposed the best solution to the tenancy deposit cap.