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Landlord and agency fees banned from 1 June 2019

Please note that the information herein is of a general nature and you should not act or refrain from acting on it without professional advice on the specific facts of your case. No liability is accepted by the author or Sykes Anderson Perry Limited in respect of this article. Property law is a complex subject and the above is a basic outline only and is intended only as a general guide. Nothing herein constitutes legal advice.

The Tenant Fees Bill, the proposed new law which means that tenants will no longer have to pay fees has been approved by Parliament and will become law on 1 June 2019.

Some key provisions of the Bill are:

  • That tenants will only need to pay their rent and deposit to secure a property.
  • Holding deposits will be capped at no more than one week’s rent, which will apply to a maximum of one property only.
  • Security deposits will be capped at five weeks’ rent.
  • Tenants may only be charged for replacement keys (or applicable security device) and late rent payments.
  • Agents and landlords will only be permitted to charge tenants fees associated with a change or early termination of a tenancy which has been requested by the tenant
  • The Bill creates a civil offence with a fine of £5,000 for a first offence and penalties for repeat offenders of up to £30,000.
  • The Bill amends the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to specify that the letting agent transparency requirements should apply to property portal websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove.
  • Local Authorities will have the power to use the money leveraged though financial penalties for future housing enforcement.

The news that fees will be banned from 1 June has been welcomed by many tenants, who may now use this as an opportunity to review their living arrangements as prohibitive landlord/agency fees will no longer apply. Landlords will of course not want to lose good tenants, especially those that have proved reliable – paying their rent on time and keeping the property clean and in good condition. It may be sensible for landlords to engage in a discussion with their good tenants at this time to check that they are happy with their living arrangements, and if necessary, take action to remedy any complaints they have.

February 2019