What does the Tenant Fee Act mean for renters?

What is the Tenant Fee Act, what does it mean for tenants, and how will it impact renting with JLL from June 2019 onwards? Lucinda Lindsay, Residential Compliance Director, breaks it down.

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:

• Referencing
• Setting up a new tenancy
• Renewing a tenancy 
• Inventories
• 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:

• Rent
• 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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