The Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into effect on Saturday 01 June 2019.
Under the new act, tenants and landlords can’t charge you:
- To view a property
- For a reference or credit checks
- Insurance policies
- Guarantor requests
- For costs to cover “admin” this includes charging for referencing, credit checks and guarantors
- Renewal fees for tenancies taken out after June 01 2019
- Charging for a professional cleaning, unless the landlord has a valid reason and evidence
- Gardening services
From 1 June 2019, the only payments that landlords or letting agents can charge to tenants for new contracts are:
- A refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than 5 weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is less than £50,000, or 6 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 1 week’s rent
- 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
- A default fee for replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement
- Contract changes – If you want changes made to your contract, such as what day you pay your rent, then the amount an agent can charge you is capped at £50. If the agent thinks it will cost more than this they will need to provide proof upfront.
- Late payments. Payments that are more than 14 days over due is considered late. Landlords can only charge you for this if it’s written in your contract. The fee should be no more than 3 per cent more than the Bank of England’s base rate – currently at 0.75 per cent – for every day that the payment is late.
Whatabout existing tenancies?
The ban on letting agency fees doesn’t come into effect for existing tenancies taken out before June 1 2019 on June 1 2020.
That means if your contract is up for renewal before then, you may still have to pay for certain charges.
*This article is for general awareness only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this page was first published.