Everything you need to know about the Tenant Fees Ban

After years of waiting, England's Tenant Fees Ban is finally here. It means that letting agents and landlords won’t be able to charge extortionate fees when you move to a new home. Here are the top 6 things you need to know about the ban:

1) It applies to contracts signed after 1st June 2019

The act covers anyone entering new tenancies from 1st June 2019. If you signed before the 1st June then you might have to pay renewal or check out fees if the contract specifies this - but only until 31 May 2020.

2) It means landlords and letting agents can only charge you for certain things

These include your rent, a refundable holding deposit, a refundable security deposit, a change of contract fee (like adding a new housemate), ending the tenancy early, lost keys and interest on rent that is two weeks’ late*. So say goodbye to reference fees, inventory fees, and “any day that ends with y fees” - an average saving of £404.

3) Your security deposit will be capped at 5 weeks’ rent**

And the great news is that if you have paid more than this, you are entitled to a refund of the difference if and when you renew! 

4) You’re protected when you put down a holding deposit

Letting agents can’t waste your time by taking holding deposits from more than one tenant for the same property at the same time. And if you’re asked to sign a tenancy with unfair terms you can pull out and get the payment refunded.

5) The fees ban means some letting agents will be finding new, sneaky ways to make cash

You might be offered a “zero deposit option” instead of paying a deposit upfront. Whilst this might sound like a good thing, these monthly options are non-refundable and don’t cover you if your landlord claims damage at the end of your tenancy. You can read more here about why Generation Rent advises against these.

6) You still need to watch out and know your rights

A group of Generation Rent volunteers called the Letting Agent Detectives found 21 agents breaking the law on advertising their fees. There will be some agents out there who assume they can pull the wool over renters’ eyes. If in doubt, take a look at the government guidanceseek legal advice, or report dodgy behaviour here.

 

*The landlord can generally only claim back their reasonable costs. Interest can be charged at a maximum of the Bank of England base rate plus 3%.

**Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to afford rent of £50,000 per year, in which case it’s 6 weeks.

 

In the news:

BBC

Guardian

Showing 5 reactions

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  • Rachel Morris
    commented 2019-06-03 10:58:47 +0100
    Jae. Over 50% of households in the UK have pets. We’re not a minority. I appreciate the huge benefits this Act has brought in regarding no fees but this is a fairly big negative, and I suspect unintended consequence that those of us with pets will have to face.
  • jae evans
    commented 2019-06-03 10:43:03 +0100
    I understand your concern regarding a pet. But instead of reacting – so negatively, when this rule clearly benefits the majority of the 11 million renters in the UK, why not simply look into this? Either through GR, Shelter or, Estate Agents – ahead of time. With a little planning – read personal responsibility, I feel certain this will not be a problem.
    Good Luck.
  • Rachel Morris
    commented 2019-06-03 09:19:27 +0100
    What about those of us with pets? I don’t fancy my chances of finding someone who’s prepared to take on pets now they can’t raise the deposit. This has actually decreased mobility.
  • jae evans
    commented 2019-06-01 17:07:50 +0100
    jeanniezelos, NO FEES! This means none – except for the 6 basics written above by GR: I know, I know, it’s difficult to take in isn’t it! But, think of it like this – unless you do something wrong (lose your keys/late rent (2wks or more)) or, house mate moves in or out (new agreement) then NO, NO FEES! If a landlord wants a credit ref from here on in future, s/he will need to pay for it themselves. Good Luck!
  • jeanniezelos
    commented 2019-06-01 09:24:07 +0100
    what about the fees charged for credit checks? They are often in excess of £100.