Tenant Fees Ban – Examples

by Property 118

10:58 AM, 22nd January 2019
About 7 months ago

Tenant Fees Ban – Examples

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Tenant Fees Ban – Examples

Our article “Ban on Lettings Fees to commence June 1st” (click here) created a great deal of discussion in the comments section and in-depth detail on what will and won’t be allowed and is worth catching up on along with the examples below.

Further examples of fees banned, but not exhaustive include:

  • Referencing cost
  • Charging for credit check
  • Charging for completing Guarantor forms
  • Inventory Charges
  • Any Admin fees
  • Additional deposit charges for pets or conditional services relating to keeping pets
  • Any professional cleaning services
  • Gardening services
  • No higher initial rents for a temporary period are allowed to recover costs.

It also cannot be made a condition to take a third party service such as a specific insurance product or Deposit replacement Scheme. Tenants must be given a choice or the tenancy could become invalid.

A Landlord and Agent are in breach of the fees ban if a charge is made and kept for any fee that is not exempt. Trading Standards can issue a fine of up to £30,000 for a breach and a Section 21 notice will be unable to be served on the tenant.

Fees exempt from the ban include:

  • Deposit – up to a maximum of 5 weeks rent if the annual rent is less than £50,000 or 6 weeks if greater.
  • Holding deposits up to a maximum of one weeks rent
  • Rent
  • Fee for a change or early termination of a tenancy when requested by the tenant (subject to cost restrictions)
  • 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. It is not considered reasonable for landlords or agents to charge for their time under a default fee. In exceptional cases, it may be appropriate, but the onus will be on the landlord or agent to demonstrate that they have incurred business costs as a result of the default.

 



Comments

truuli

16:34 PM, 22nd January 2019
About 7 months ago

busy making changes to our site to support the tenant fee ban, truuli.co.uk
Think the ban is for the best and overall should improve the renting experience.
Thanks for the examples

Annie Landlord

10:01 AM, 23rd January 2019
About 7 months ago

One of my ASTs, issued by a lettings agency several years ago, includes a clause saying something along the lines of, a fee of £25 may be charged for letters if the landlord has to chase unpaid rent.
Do I need to delete this clause and get the tenant to initial? With all the changes that have taken place in recent years I'm wondering whether to issue new ASTs all round. I do know what that entails.. Anyone else done that?

Simon Williams

10:05 AM, 23rd January 2019
About 7 months ago

So, can anyone help me on this? If a tenant departs the property and leaves it in a filthy state (but does not "damage" the property), will it now be prohibited to charge them the actual cost of reasonable cleaning services by deduction against their deposit? I am assuming so.

Simon Williams

10:13 AM, 23rd January 2019
About 7 months ago

Then again, the NLA website says:
"Where there are further contractual breaches (i.e. other than lost keys, late rent), landlords will be able to charge for damages, however if a tenant fails to pay, the landlord will either need to pursue this claim in court or make a claim against the security deposit via their deposit protection scheme. "
This implies that if failure to clean at the end of the tenancy is a specific breach of the contract, then you can deduct against the deposit.

Though surely you can't just get around the default fee prohibition by calling it a breach of contract and taking it off the deposit?

Ross Tulloch

10:56 AM, 23rd January 2019
About 7 months ago

Not clear, if I have a 12 month tenancy WITH A 6 MONTH BREAK CLAUSE, if I can continue charging £200 admin if they leave between 6 months and I year? (beyond 1 year we do not)

Blueskies

12:02 PM, 23rd January 2019
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by truuli at 22/01/2019 - 16:34
I cannot see how on earth this ban can be considered a good thing! How does this prepare tenants for living in the real world where everything has to be paid for? A standardisation of fees, or fee limits would have been much more appropriate in my opinion.

sam

17:00 PM, 23rd January 2019
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jane Smith at 23/01/2019 - 12:02
Or a fee cap rising in line with RPI or CPI.
And/or expenses actually incurred at cost +.

In my almost 30 years experience as a LL, I have only had 2 lets where no professional cleaing was involved. 1 of them was a tenant who had been there for more than 10 years and I just turned a blind eye to everything as I was going to redcorate anyway.

If LLs cant charge for professinal cleaning, does this mean the tenant can just walk out and leave the place in any condition they like knowing the LL cant do anything about it ?

Can LLs charge an 'end of tenancy' fee ? Or 'Exit' fee or something similarly stupid sounding that the financial world charges ? (I guess an 'arangement/booking fee' is out of the question).

Or is it legal to give a 'discount' or 'cash (or rent) back' if the tenant leaves the place in a neat and tidy condition ?

sam

17:01 PM, 23rd January 2019
About 7 months ago

Reply to the comment left by truuli at 22/01/2019 - 16:34
Oh me bleeding heart.

wanda wang

22:31 PM, 23rd January 2019
About 7 months ago

Can you ask the tenants to provide their own credit check, same as provide payslip , bank statements, is not allowed?

wanda wang

22:33 PM, 23rd January 2019
About 7 months ago

Additional deposit charges for pets or conditional services relating to keeping pets
Any professional cleaning services,
what about the tenancy was signed before 1st June with these clause?

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