TENANT FEES BAN
The government continues to move forward with a planned tenant fee ban on fees charged by letting agents and landlords to their tenants. While this is yet to come into force, and draft legislation is always subject to change, it is very likely to come into force in much the same format so landlords and agents should start considering the impact on their business now.
This short guide will act as a primer for landlords and agents to help them prepare for these upcoming changes.
Does the tenant fee ban apply to agents and landlords?
Yes, it will apply to both agents and landlords.
Does the ban apply in Wales?
No, at present it is only limited to England. Welsh landlords and agents are welcome to charge fees for the foreseeable future.
Will the fees ban apply to older tenancies?
No, though it will apply to renewals of tenancies, including statutory periodic tenancies that arise after the Tenant Fees Act comes into force.
What fees are banned?
Anything not exempted, that the tenant (or someone acting on their behalf like a guarantor or parent) is required to pay as a condition of the ‘grant, continuance or renewal’ of an assured shorthold tenancy or licence agreement.
This includes payments to third parties, either for services throughout the tenancy or for specific performance of a job and loans from third parties.
In short this means that pretty much any fee that is in the tenancy agreement will be void unless it is exempt.
Examples of banned fees then would be:
- Charging for a guarantor form
- Credit checks
- Cleaning services
- Professional cleaning
- Having the property deflead as a condition of allowing pets in the property
- Admin charges
- Requirements to have specific insurance providers
- Gardening services