Tenant Fees Act
New legislation in the form of the Tenant Fees Act took effect from the 1st of June 2019 governing the fees charged to tenants when letting a property.
The new rules are designed to protect tenants from a range of charges making the process of renting and moving house more affordable. Tenancy deposits, for example, have been capped at a maximum of five weeks’ rent while holding deposits are a maximum of one weeks’ rent.
What will the changes mean for tenants?
The change in law applies to new tenancy agreements. The tenant fee ban is good news for tenants who will save potentially hundreds of pounds in upfront admin and referencing fees etc.
How are existing tenancy agreements affected?
Agents and landlords do not have to pay back any fees that have been charged before 1 June 2019. For tenancies entered into before 1 June 2019, fees remain applicable up until 31 May 2020, but only where these are required under an existing tenancy agreement. This might include, for example, check-out or renewal fees which have already been signed up to.
Why have the rules changed?
Hidden or unfair charges sometimes applied by rogue agents have been outlawed. Here at Let two we are members of professional regulatory bodies including ARLA Propertymark (Association of Residential Lettings Agents), TPO (The Property Ombudsman) scheme and DPS (Deposit Protection Service). As such, our tenants are assured that we are bound by codes of practice and comply with all latest industry standards and legislation.
Which charges remain?
Under the new rules, tenants are responsible for the rent, any bills included in the tenancy (e.g. council tax, utilities etc.), refundable deposits, changes or early termination of the tenancy, default fees for late payment of rent, lost keys etc.
Details of payments that apply are as follows:
• the rent
• a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where
your total annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where your total
annual rent is £50,000 or above
• a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than
one week’s rent
• payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at
£50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
• payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested
by the tenant
• payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and
council tax; and
• A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security
device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy