On the 12 February 2019 the Tenants Fees Act 2019 obtained royal assent. This Bill comes into force on the 1 June 2019 and bans various fees that are often charged to tenants when taking on a rental agreement.
Fees that will no longer be payable include reference checks, key collection, late reminders, inventories and exercising break clauses. In some cases letting agents may seek reimbursement for these costs from Landlords.
Rather than specifying which fees are banned the Bill prohibits all payments except those which are permitted and caps payments which are permissible.
Permitted payments include:
- security deposits of up to six weeks’ rent
- holding deposits (to take the property off the market) of up to one week’s rent
- tenant default fees
- capped fees for assignment, variation or early termination of a tenancy
Supporters of the Bill claim it will make the residential lettings market more transparent and result in savings for tenants, many of whom cite letting fees as an obstacle when seeking to move.