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Changes to fees – a guide for landlords & agents
From 1 June 2019, you will only be able to charge your tenant any kind of fee if it is expressly permitted by the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
Will the changes apply to my tenancy?
The changes will apply to all new or replacement assured shorthold tenancies entered into on or after 1 June 2019. The Act does not apply to periodic tenancies that arise at the end of fixed term tenancies before 1 June 2019.
What fees will I be able to charge my tenant?
The only permitted fees you can charge are:
- Rent – (must not charge more at the start of tenancy than the end)
- Tenancy deposit – (capped at five weeks’ rent where annual rent below £50,000)
- Holding deposit – (capped at one weeks’ rent)
- Changes to the tenancy agreement – (capped at £50 or reasonable costs)
- Tenant lost keys – (capped at reasonable costs)
- Late rent payment interest – (capped at 3% above base rate)
- Payment of council tax and utilities, television licence – (if included in tenancy agreement)
All other fees (such as a referencing fee, check out fee etc.) will be prohibited and landlords or agents found charging those fees will be liable for a potential criminal prosecution or civil penalty.
What are the penalties for charging a prohibited fee?
- The tenant will not have to pay the fee
- Civil fine of up to £5,000 for one breach and up to £30,000 for a subsequent breach within five years
- Criminal prosecution carrying unlimited fine
- You cannot serve a Section 21 Notice until you repay the prohibited fee in full
For more information about how the changes will affect your tenancy and to ensure your tenancy agreements are fully compliant with the latest legislative developments, please call a member of our residential landlord and tenant dispute team on 01392 207020.