Renters’ guide to the new Tenant Fees Act

The law regarding charges for new tenants has changed. Are you up to speed?

If you rent a property, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of the new Tenant Fees Act, which came into force on June 1st 2019. The new legislation applies to new tenancies as well as renewals of tenancies and could save you hundreds of pounds.

The new law means that landlords and letting agents won’t be able to charge tenants for certain admin fees that they have in the past. It also limits tenancy deposits to five weeks only.

For rental properties in England, the Tenant Fees Act 2019 means that in addition to rent, landlords and lettings agents can only charge tenants for the following:

  • Holding deposits (maximum of 1 week’s rent)
  • Deposits (maximum of 5 weeks’ rent for annual rent below £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent for annual rent of £50,000+)
  • Payment for early termination of a tenancy (capped at the landlord’s loss or reasonably incurred costs)
  • Payments to change a tenancy agreement (capped at £50 or reasonable costs if higher)
  • Interest on late payment of rent (no more than 3% above Bank of England’s APR)
  • Reasonable costs for replacing lost keys/security devices
  • Contractual damages if the tenant defaults on a tenancy agreement
  • Bills – utilities, telephone, broadband, TV licence and council tax

This is mostly great news for tenants. However, the law also states that agents and landlords won’t have to pay back fees they charged tenants before the Act came into force on 1st June 2019. So, in theory, an agent or landlord can require a tenant to pay additional or higher fees if they relate to a contract which started before the law came into force.

For properties in Wales, changes to tenant charges will come into force from September 2019.

For more information on tenants’ rights, visit here

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