Another quick post about the New Tenant Fees Act this is beneficial for all Tenants who sign a contract for a tenancy with effect from the 1st June 2019 and means new tenants will for the first time not have to pay some charges and also limit the amount Agents can charge you before you have even signed a contract or moved into your new home. This means goodbye to unfair charges!
This new Act began on the 1st June 2019 and means that there is a limit to the amount renters can be charged for their deposits and banning letting fees altogether as part of the Government’s bid to reduce hidden costs for tenants. This is good news for renters who find themselves liable for several charges when trying to rent privately and includes fees you may be charges for example Admin fees which may include credit checks and charges if you need to have a guarantor. Again, there is not much in the press about this important new change.
Your new rights explained
- No more charges when you to view a property
Letting agents will no longer be able to charge tenants to view new properties under the ban.
- Admin costs will be banned
All costs which include the following:
- referencing, credit checks, guarantors and admin will have to be covered by the landlord.
The only exception will be tenancy agreements that started before 1 June 2019.
- An end to checkout fees
Your agent will only be able to charge you for check-out fees if your tenancy was agreed before 1 June 2019.
For everyone else, check-out fees and charges for services e.g. professional cleaning at the end of your tenancy will be banned unless the Agent/Landlord have evidence and they must show good reason for carrying out the work.
- No more charges for a reference e.t.c.
Letting agents will no longer be able to charge you for fees for admin tasks, such as reference checks, credit checks, insurance policies, gardening services or guarantor requests. Any costs incurred with these will have to be paid by the landlord.
- Rent payments will continue as normal
The way in which you pay your rent won’t change.
Landlords can only apply to change this through a rent review clause for a permanent increase or decrease in rent.
- Your deposit will be capped
This means that you cannot be charged more than five weeks’ rent or six weeks if the total annual rent of the property is expected to be more than £50,000.
- Holding fees
This will be limited to the equivalent of one weeks’ rent. Agents will not be allowed to continue to advertise a property once they’ve received a payment from you.
The fee will have to be repaid to you once you have agreed to the tenancy agreement or after 15 days if the agreement doesn’t go through.
- Contract changes will be capped at £50
The maximum amount agents will be able to charge you for amending your contract will be limited to £50.
If the agent expects the costs to be higher than this, they will have to show proof of the charges first.
- ‘Moving out early’ charges
The amount you pay should not be more than the amount of rent you would have paid had you continued with the tenancy until the end of your agreement.
- Late payments
A ‘late payment’ is anything that’s more than 14 days overdue. For the landlord to charge you for this, it must be written in your contract!
The penalty fee should also not be more than 3% more than the Bank of England’s annual percentage rate (currently 0.75%) for each day the payment is outstanding.
- If you are currently in a contract that began before the 1st June 2019
If your tenancy agreement was signed before 1 June 2019, the new rules unfortunately won’t apply.
However, from 1 June 2020, the new rules will apply to everyone – whether you have a new contract or not.
- £5,000 fine for breaking the rules!
If the Agent/Landlord breaches any of the rules under the Tenant Fees Act this will be a civil offence and they may be liable for a fine of up to £5,000
For more detailed and useful information and to access to Guides for both Landlords and Tenants please use the link below: