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Feature: Changes To the Tenant Fees Act - 1st June 2019

So like many people in the UK, you may well be renting your home.

One of the worst things about renting are the fees and costs when you move in.

The good news is that as of Saturday 1st June 2019, the Tenant Fees Act comes into effect and it caps the fees landlords and letting agents can charge tenants. 

What does this mean? Basically the landlord and letting agents can no longer charge the tenancy renewal, referencing and credit check fees on new tenancies from the 1st June 2019. These costs will now need to be met by the landlord, with the downside being that landlords may up their rents to recover these costs as a result.

From 1 June, the only costs landlords and agents will be able to charge tenants for will be:

  • Rent.

  • Utilities and council tax if these charges are included within the tenancy.

  • A refundable deposit, capped at six weeks' rent. The cap could be five weeks' rent for properties where the annual rent is less than £50,000, under an amendment put forward in the House of Lords.

  • A refundable holding deposit to reserve the property, now capped at only one week's rent.

  • Changes to the tenancy requested by the tenant, this is now capped at £50 (or "reasonable costs").

  • Early termination of the tenancy requested by the tenant.

  • Defaults by the tenant, such as fines for late rent payments or lost keys.

These must be "reasonable costs", with evidence given in writing by the landlord or agent.

What if the landlord ignores these new rules? Well they will be fined. The fine for breaching the Tenant Fees Act will be a civil offence, with a fine of upto £5,000, if a landlord makes another breach within five years of the first fine, then the breach will be classed as a criminal offence instead and as such they could face prosecution or a fine of up to £30,000.

So ultimately this is a step in the right direction for tenants. The average saving for new tenants is expected to be around £400, which is a decent saving, and well overdue, in my humble opinion...


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