Tenant Fees Act
From June 1 2019, accommodation providers are no longer able to charge a number of fees for new or renewed tenancies in England signed on or after that date.
Examples of banned fees are:
- Charging for a guarantor form.
- Credit checks.
- Compulsory professional cleaning.
- Having the property de-flead as a condition of allowing pets in the property.
- Admin charges.
- Requirements to have specific insurance providers.
- Gardening services.
Fees that can still be charged
Tenants can still be charged fees for:
- Damage caused to the property by the tenant (including cleaning).
- If the tenant loses their keys.
- Late payment of rent.
- A change to the tenancy requested by the tenant. £50 is considered the norm in government guidance, with any charge above needing to be backed up with written evidence.
The fees chargeable to a tenant will be limited. For example in the case of lost keys, accommodation providers will be able to charge for the cost of replacing the keys and other reasonable costs. Charging costs for lost keys must be evidenced in writing, for example through receipts for the keys and petrol used etc. Accommodation providers cannot charge for their time or the inconvenience.
If a tenant wants to leave the contract early, they will be liable to pay the rent up to a maximum of the length of the fixed term of the contract.
Restrictions on rent
There will be a ban on setting rent at a higher level for the first portion of the tenancy and then dropping it down afterwards. This is to prevent accommodation providers trying to offset the ban on fees by artificially increasing the rent for the initial period to make up the costs.