Tenants no longer charged letting fees
Under the new Tenant Fees Act, agents will no longer charge renters ‘letting fees’ in England for services such as viewings, credit checks, applying for references and setting up a new tenancy.
Saving the nation millions
This is great news for renters who will be able to keep more of their hard-earned cash as they will face fewer upfront charges when taking out or renewing a tenancy. This is quite a big saving. The average fees ranged from £200 - £300, which could be even more in the bigger cities, and Citizen’s Advice has estimated that this new act could save private renters in England a collective £13million a month!
Will rents rise?
The new legislation, which was first announced in 2016, means letting agencies will no longer charge renters for various admin tasks undertaken each time they move or renew their tenancy contract. It is now the responsibility of agencies and landlords to pay for such tasks and some campaigners are worried that rents will rise as a result. However, research from a similar ban that has been in place in Scotland since 2012 suggests this is not the case. Rents there were also expected to increase as a result of the ban but, in fact, any rises in rent were small and brief.
Applicable from 1st June 2019
The new fees ban applies to tenancies entered into on or after 1st June 2019. If the tenancy was taken out before this date you won’t be entitled to claim back any fees charged. However, agencies may still apply some charges such as a refundable deposit (which is now capped at five weeks’ rent for many properties), changes to or early termination of the tenancy contract and lost keys.