Can letting agents charge tenants fees?

In England:

Yes, but only until 1 June 2019 if you are entering a new tenancy. The Tenant Fees Act 2019 bans most fees after this date.

If you enter your tenancy before 1 June 2019 then you are still liable for any charges written into your existing agreement (e.g. renewal or check out fees) until 1 June 2020.

More details are available here. We will update this page once guidance has been published.

In Scotland:

No. The law on fees was clarified in 2012; Shelter Scotland has more information here.

In Wales:

Yes. The Renting Homes (Fees) (Wales) Bill is currently making its way through the National Assembly for Wales and would ban fees.

In Northern Ireland:

Unclear. A court case in 2018 cast doubt on the ability of letting agents to charge fees. Housing Rights NI has more.

 

Help enforce the letting fees ban

Banning letting fees only works if unscrupulous letting agents know there are real consequences for ripping tenants off. That means:

  • Tenants need to know about the ban, report agents who flout it and claim back illegal fees
  • Local councils' trading standards officers need to respond to tenants' complaints and use their powers to fine offending agents and recover tenants' money
  • Agents need to see all this happening

Ahead of the ban coming into force in England, Generation Rent will be working with government, councils, renters' unions and other organisations to make the above happen. We need your help.

The research we carried out in 2015-17 for our site Letting Fees found hundreds of agents who were breaking existing laws around publishing their fees and being members of a redress scheme.

That was just 20 local council areas, so there are likely hundreds more letting agents that are still breaking the law.

If you know of any letting agent in England that:

Please report them using the form below (anonymously if you wish).

We will be analysing this information over the next few months to help understand the extent of criminality in the lettings industry and using that knowledge to help raise awareness and enforce fees bans. Once the ban is in force in England we'll update this page with information about how you claim back illegal fees.