With the roll out of the Tenant Fee Act 2019, most fees for tenants are now banned from 1 June 2019. This applies to fees charged by both landlords and agents. The ban covers assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs), student housing and licences. It does not cover Non-Housing Act tenancies, for example company tenancies and tenancies where the rent is over £100,000 per year.
From 1 June 2019, if you start a or renew a tenancy, the following fees are prohibited and can no longer be charged to tenants:
• Setting up a new tenancy
• Renewing a tenancy
• Additional pet deposits
If you have paid a prohibited fee to your landlord or agent, they cannot use a Section 21 notice to evict you until the money has been reimbursed to you.
The fees you can still be charged include:
• Tenancy deposit (though this will now be capped at five weeks’ rent if the rent is under £50,000 per year, and six weeks’ rent if the rent is over £50,000 per year)
• Holding deposit (this is now capped at one weeks’ rent)
• Utilities including television licence and communication services
• Changing or assigning your tenancy
• Ending your tenancy early
• Late payment of rent
• Lost keys or security devices
• Green Deal charge
Where fees are charged, after 1 June, they must be proportionate to the actual cost incurred. For example, if you lose a key, you can expect the cost for a replacement to be reasonable.
You can still be charged fees if your tenancy began before 1 June 2019, and you have not signed a renewal tenancy. You can also still be charged fees if you signed your tenancy agreement before 1 June 2019, even if it starts after that date. In these cases, the landlord or agent can still charge you fees until 31 May 2020.
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