Ban on Lettings Fees to commence June 1stMake Text Bigger
The Tenants Fees Bill 2017 – 2019, click here, has been confirmed by government to commence on June 1st this year. Bill sponsor Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (image right) announced the start date at the third reading in the House of Lords and said:
“It has been clear throughout that this is a Bill that will introduce important changes for the private rented sector. It is in all our interest to introduce this introduction as soon as possible.
“Implementation is subject to the parliamentary timetables and amendments need to be considered in the other place. We need to enable agents and landlords following Royal Assent to become compliant, but we intend for the provisions to come into force on June 1st 2019.
“This would mean the ban on lettings fees would apply to all tenancies signed after this date.”
Agents and landlords will only be able to collect rent and deposits from tenants with the exceptions of fees for:
- A change or early termination of a tenancy when requested by the tenant
- Utilities, communication services and Council Tax
- Payments arising from Default fees limited to charges for replacement keys or a respective security device, and late rent payments only
Lord Bourne also confirmed that although landlords can charge for damages any amount recouped from a tenant can only put them back in the same position they were previously.
David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark stated:
“This now gives agents the legal certainty they need to prepare for a post tenant fees ban world. To learn about the intricacies of the legislation, we encourage agents to come to our Regional Meetings over the next few weeks and of course our annual Conference, where ARLA Propertymark will be doing everything it can to help agents plan and prepare for the introduction of the Bill.”
James Davis, CEO of Upad and himself a portfolio landlord, comments:
“Having a firm date set for the Tenant Fee Ban to come in to effect feels like it’s been a very long time coming. However, now we know and it’s a little under 5 months away. This means that any landlord who has taken the ‘bury head in sand’ approach thus far, needs to act quickly.
“Ever since the ban was first announced in November 2016, headlines have focused on the threat that rents will rise, putting additional pressure on tenants and continuing to paint the landlord as the ‘bad guy’. This doesn’t need to be the case though. Most private landlords don’t, in fact, charge excessive upfront costs and whilst it would have been advisable to plan ahead before now, there’s still time to consider how else they can manage their costs.”
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