Tenant Fees Ban:
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 becomes effective from tomorrow, Saturday 1st June 2019.
It applies to England only for now, but is likely to be extended to Wales in due course.
The Act controls payments that landlords and letting agents can require a tenant to pay in connection with a tenancy or licence for a residential dwelling in England with very few exceptions.
Effectively, the Act bans all payments a landlord or letting agent may take from a tenant except those expressly set out in the Act as “permitted” payments. These are:
Rent – which will include an advance payment for the first rent period, which must be the same as all the subsequent rent payments. In other words, the first period cannot be loaded to recover costs
Holding Deposit – refundable, and no more than the equivalent of one week’s rent, with its terms of refund and retention set-out clearly in writing
Tenancy Deposit, sometimes referred to as a security or damage deposit, again refundable and capped at no more than five weeks’ rent, if the total annual rent is less than £50,000, or a maximum of six weeks’ rent, if the annual rent exceeds £50,00
Amendments charges, mid-tenancy, amendments requested by the tenant are capped at charges of £50, unless a greater cost can be fully justified.
Early Termination, payments associated with this when requested by the tenant
Provision of Utilities, such internet services, telephone, TV licence and council tax when appropriate.
Default Fees, when the tenant defaults on rent payments or other permitted payments specified in the tenancy agreement, including such items as replacement of a lost keys, etc.
There is considerably more detail within the Act itself – see the link below – so landlords and agents should familiarise themselves with the detail.