Tenant Fee Ban Now Covers Old Tenancies
The tenant fee ban for landlords and letting agents letting residential property in England has expanded to include most existing tenancies.
Landlords must not charge tenants fees on the banned list from June 1 2020. Until then, the ban only applied to new tenancies.
Ignoring the rules could lead to fines of up to £30,000 and a banning order stopping landlords from renting homes. Landlords in England can only charge renters these fees:
- A security deposit is capped at the value of five weeks’ rent unless the annual rent is more than £50,000 when the cap lifts to the equivalent of six weeks’ rent
- Holding deposits are limited to the value of one week’s rent
- The charge for changing a tenancy agreement can be no more than £50 unless a landlord can show higher costs were involved.
- An early end to a tenancy requested by a tenant
- Any face value cost for utilities, broadband, media, or council tax
- Payment to cover replacing keys
- Interest on late rent charged at no more than the Bank of England base rate plus 3%
Common standard fees, such as charges for credit and reference checks, other administration costs, cleaning and gardening, are prohibited.
The new law effectively switches the burden of paying letting agents and overheads for starting a tenancy to landlords. Similar tenant fee bans are in place in Wales and Scotland, but the rules slightly differ.
“Landlords cannot require a tenant or anyone acting on their behalf or guaranteeing their rent to make certain payments in connection with a tenancy,” says the guidance for England. “Landlords cannot require them to enter a contract with a third party or make a loan in connection with a tenancy.”
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The Tenant Fees Act 2019 commenced on 1 June 2019 and banned most tenant fees in England. Only a "permitted payment" may be requested from a "relevant person"