The Tenants Act 2019 comes into force in England from 1st June and restricts the ability of Landlords and Letting Agents to charge certain fees to existing and prospective tenants, of assured shorthold tenancy agreements, including student accommodation. This relates to any tenancy agreements entered into from this date.
The result of this is that both Landlords and Agents will no longer be able to charge administration fees, such as tenancy renewal fees, referencing fees and credit checking fees. There is a general concern that these new regulations may possibly result in higher rental charges overall, as the landlords will now have to meet all these costs themselves. Landlords will not be allowed to set any rent at a higher level for the first part of the tenancy agreement and then reduce if later to recoup the cost that they have incurred.
From 1st June, apart from rent, Landlords will only be permitted to charge for the following:
- Council Tax
- Utilities and TV licenses if included in the tenancy
- A refundable security deposit capped at five weeks rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000
- A refundable holding deposit to reserve the property, capped at one weeks rent
- Loss of keys
- Early termination of the agreement by the tenant
- Variation to the Tenancy Agreement requested by the tenant
- Late payment of rent
Any charges applied by the Landlord, which do not appear on this list, will be prohibited payments and will not therefore be binding upon the tenant. The offending party, not abiding by this, may incur a fine of up to £ 5,000.
The Government has published guidance for Landlords and Tenants, which is available at www.gov.uk/ government/publications/tenant-fees-act-2019-guidance.
It is suggested that any party entering into an assured shorthold tenancy agreement makes themselves aware of these new guidelines.
If you would like more information or for a no obligation discussion, please contact Okells FrancisLaw LLP on either 01989 762009 or 01594 842242 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.