Bath renters could save hundreds of pounds under a new law debated by MPs this week.
The Conservative party are planning on banning letting fees charged by estate agents when signing for a rented property.
The Tenants Fees Bill would also ban landlords demanding more than six weeks’ rent in security deposits and the move would benefit many renters in the private sector.
The bill would also cap holding deposits at one weeks’ rent, and create a new offence for landlords or agents who breach the rules, the Bristol Post reported.
They could face penalties of up to £30,000 if they charge letting agent fees after the ban is formally introduced.
Many tenants are forced to cough up for eye-watering upfront fees that are not clearly explained, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
These fees can often lead to families being trapped in a property that is no longer suitable as charges are applied each time they move.
Polly Neate, Shelter chief executive, said banning these fees is a positive step.
Ms Neate said: “It’s good to see the government getting on with the job of banning rip-off letting fees, which we’ve campaigned so hard for at Shelter.
This is a positive step at reducing at least some of the ridiculous costs renters are burdened with every day.
“But with some opportunistic agents hiking fees in anticipation of this ban and making life harder still for struggling renters, it’s clear that they can’t be scrapped soon enough.”
Letting firms are currently able to charge tenants whatever they wish. And seven out of ten tenants told the government consultation, such fees made it difficult or even impossible for them to move into new rented properties at all.
Council trading standards teams will be expected to enforce the ban and help tenants get back unlawfully charged fees.
Leader of the council, Tim Warren, said: “It’s good news that the Government is taking action to ban letting fees and put a cap on the deposits tenants have to pay when moving in.
“In recent years there have been many reports of letting fees becoming ever more expensive, not just when tenants move in but also when they renew their tenancy.
“These proposals will therefore help reduce the costs paid by those who rent privately, and this is clearly something to be welcomed.
“I know that some organisations have expressed concerns that the cost of fees could be passed on through monthly rents instead, but by making the cost of moving more affordable this should increase competition in the private rental market and thereby help keep rental costs down.”