A Ban on Tenant fees, Including Admin and Agency Fees
The Tenant Fees Act will come into force on 1st June 2019. The act's main effects are:
- Limits tenancy deposits to 5 weeks’ rent
- Limits holding deposits to 1 week’s rent
Prohibits all fees and payments except for rent, deposits and fees covered by one of the three exemptions
The Three Exemptions
The only exceptions are for contract amendments and two kinds of ‘default’ fees, when the tenancy agreement is broken.
Late Rent Fees
Landlords can still charge fees for rent payments that are over 2 weeks late. These are a maximum of 3% plus the Bank of England base interest rate, annually.
Landlords can still charge tenants for losing their keys (or other security device if your property is high-tech), they should provide evidence of the cost to you. Remember, both default fees need to be in the tenancy agreement for you to charge them, and previous rules about fair clauses still apply.
Changes to Tenancy
Landlords can charge up to £50 for making changes to the terms of the tenancy. For example, adding a new tenant or allowing a pet. This exception doesn’t apply to renewals or changes to the length of the tenancy.
New Rules on Deposits
Tenancy or security deposits are limited to 5 weeks' rent for annuals rents under £50,000. Holding deposits are limited to 1 week's rent.
Landlords must return the holding deposit to the tenant: either in direct payment, putting it towards the first rental payment, or the security deposit. There are some exceptions. In these cases the landlord can keep the holding deposits:
- Tenant withdraws
- Renter doesn’t take all reasonable steps to enter the tenancy
- Tenant fails a right to rent check
- The tenant provides misleading information which materially affects their suitability to rent the property
Landlords can only hold the holding deposit for 15 days unless another ‘deadline’ date is agreed in writing. After the deadline, the holding deposit must be repaid within 7 days.