Good news for tenants! On 1st June 2019, the Tenant Fees Bill will become law, getting rid of most upfront tenant fees in England, as well as security deposits being capped at the equivalent of five week’s rent on properties where the annual rent is less than £50,000. For properties with annual rent exceeding £50,000, the cap will remain at six weeks’ rent.
So, how will this affect you?
Tenants, someone acting on behalf of a tenant, or a guarantor CANNOT be asked to make certain types of payment related to a tenancy.
This is usually paid monthly, beginning in advance to a tenant moving in. Sometimes tenants can be asked to pay for a longer amount of time, and under the Tenant Fee Bill, this is still permissible.
The deposit is there as a safety net in reserve for any damages during the tenancy. As above, for properties where the annual rent is below £50,000, this will be capped at no more than five weeks’ rent.
A holding deposit is a payment provided in order to reserve a property, and it will be the equivalent of no more than one week of rent.
If a tenant requests that a detail of the tenancy be changed, the payment for each amendment is capped at £50 (inc VAT) unless higher costs are incurred in which case charges can be higher, but must be reasonable.
To be chargeable, early termination of a tenancy has got to be requested by the tenant. (You can’t be asked to leave early and expected to pay!)
Tenants can still be charged for utilities such as gas, electric and water, communication services like broadband, and council tax.
If you’re enjoying a day out and you lose your key somewhere in central London never to be found again (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!) then as a tenant you are liable for the costs associated with replacing the lost key.
Landlords are unable to accept an additional deposit from tenants who wish to own a pet at their rented home, however, they can negotiate a higher amount of rent which should be discussed with the tenant in advance.
Charges for drawing up a tenancy agreement and all of the administration involved in the preparation of a tenancy. It will be down to the tenant to now seek the advice of an independent solicitor or the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for advice on the tenancy agreement and clauses contained therein.
Tenants cannot be charged for obtaining references for any tenants, occupiers or guarantors.
If you would like to discuss the Tenant Fee Bill with a member of our lettings team, please call ☎︎ 020 8740 6622
Fees will be amended according to the new legislation on 1st June 2019.