Official government guidance for tenant fees ban releasedMake Text Bigger
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government have released their official guidance notes for landlords, letting agents and local authority enforcement officers explaining how the Tenant Fees Act 2019 affects what is now allowed to be charged from the 1st of June.
Click here to view the full guidance document.
You cannot evict a tenant using the section 21 eviction procedure until you have repaid any unlawfully charged fees or returned an unlawfully retained holding deposit. All other rules around the application of the section 21 evictions procedure will continue to apply.
This guidance applies to England only.
“What fees can I ask a tenant to pay?
You cannot require a tenant (or anyone acting on their behalf or guaranteeing their rent) to make certain payments in connection with a tenancy. You cannot require them to enter a contract with a third party or make a loan in connection with a tenancy.
The only payments you can charge in connection with a tenancy are:
- The rent
- A refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
- A refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week’s rent
- Payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
- Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
- Payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and
- A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement
If the fee you are charging is not on this list, it is a prohibited payment and you should not charge it. A prohibited payment is a payment outlawed under the ban.
What does this mean for existing tenancy agreements?
If a tenancy agreement was entered before 1 June 2019, you can continue to require a tenant to pay fees written into that agreement (e.g. check-out or renewal fees) until 31 May 2020.
After 1 June 2020, the term requiring that payment will no longer be binding. Should you, in error, ask a tenant to make such a payment, you should return the payment immediately and must return this within 28 days. If you do not return the payment within 28 days, you will be treated for the purposes of the Act as having required the tenant to make a prohibited payment (a payment that is outlawed under the ban).
You do not need to return any amount of tenancy deposit that is over the cap for tenancy agreements that were entered into before the Tenant Fees Act came into force.”
Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.