Do you know your tenant rights? Are you aware of the tenant fee ban?
From 1st of June 2019, most tenant fees have been banned in England.
The below guide is to provide tenants with some guidance in the jungle that sometimes is renting a home. This guide is by no means exhaustive or provides all the ins and outs of the Tenant Fees Act - this merely constitutes a starting point in guiding tenants to know their rights and what they can be charged and what they cannot be charged.
For more information, please contact us to discuss in more detail.
The ban covers most private tenancies, including assured shorthold tenancies, student housing and lodger agreements as well.
The Tenant Fee Ban, hw it is often referred to, applies to fees charged to tenants and their guarantors.
What you can be charged for
From 1 June 2019, if you start or renew a tenancy, you can only be charged fees in the following situations:
Late payment of rent
You can only be charged a late payment fee once you are 14 days late with rent.
The late payment fee must be mentioned in your agreement and you can’t be charged more than 3% APR above the Bank of England base rate.
Lost keys or fobs
You can be charged the reasonable costs of a replacement if this is mentioned in your tenancy agreement.
Ending your tenancy early
Your landlord or agent can charge you if they agree to let you end your fixed term tenancy early or leave without giving notice. This can only be to cover any loss incurred by your landlord or your agent’s reasonable costs.
Changing or assigning your tenancy
You can be charged £50 if you want to change a term in your tenancy or assign it to someone else. The landlord can only charge above this if they can prove it cost them more.
Renewing your tenancy
You can only be charged for renewing your tenancy when your fixed term contract ends if you signed a tenancy agreement before 1 June 2019 which says you have to pay a renewal fee.
You can't be charged to renew a tenancy unless this was stated in your previous contract.
What you cannot be charged for
All other fees are banned. This includes fees for:
- credit and immigration checks
Please also be ware that there are also other costs of renting.
You can still be asked to pay:
- a holding deposit - however holding deposits will be capped at no more than one week’s rent
- a tenancy deposit - however tenancy deposits must not exceed the equivalent of five weeks' rent (unless the annual rent exceeds £50,000 in which case deposits are capped at six weeks’ rent).
- rent in advance
Your landlord can still charge you for utilities such as gas, electricity and water if they provide these. They can’t charge you more than they pay the supplier.
If you break a term in your contract, for example by causing damage, your landlord can still try and claim the costs back through the courts.
Do you have any questions? Do you want to know more about tenant fee ban or any other aspect of letting?
Contact us now to arrange a suitable meeting to discuss any matters relating to letting and property.
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