Update on the tenant fee ban.
As we all know the tenant fee ban comes into effect on the 1st June 2019 which will put a stop to all fees currently levied at tenants by letting agents and landlords, this is not just referencing fees, but all fees! Helpfully some more detailed information and clarification has been released on the contents of the bill which will hopefully give everyone a better understanding of some of the finer points and ensure we are all in the best position possible come the summer.
What is prohibited?
Long story short, pretty much everything! – except permitted fees, which are:
1. Rent and 2. Utilities.
Referencing Fees – BANNED
No referencing fees can be charged to a tenant, at all. Some Landlords and letting agents have wondered if they can pass an applicant to a referencing company and the referencing company charge them direct as a way round this and the answer is NO.
From the 1st June you will be allowed to charge a “holding fee” to the equivalent of 1 weeks rent, under very special conditions, that in certain circumstances can be retained if the applicant is not 100% honest when applying to become a tenant.
Pest Control fees. – BANNED
If a tenant reports pests in a property it will be the sole responsibility of the Landlord/agent to remove them and cover the cost, however if it is found that the tenant is responsible for the pests then the cost of removal may be deducted from the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Pet fees – BANNED
It has been standard practice for many years to charge a high deposit or a pet fee to someone moving in with an animal. This is no longer allowed and the tenant cannot pay more than 5 weeks for a deposit. However, landlords are allowed to charge a higher rent to tenants with pets, say £10 - £20 per month more as long as this is clearly stated in the property particulars.
Professional cleaning – BANNED
Actually this was banned a long time ago but is still pushed by many landlords and letting agents today. From the 1st June the clampdown will be much tougher. The law states that a property must be returned in the same condition at the end of the tenancy, that a tenant received it at the beginning.
Contractor call out fees - BANNED
Should a contractor attend a property and the tenant fail to be home or grant them access and the contractor subsequently charge a fee then this will have to be swallowed by the landlord. Similarly to pest fees this money can be recouped from the deposit, providing a clear audit trail is kept.
Hopefully that gives you a better understanding of the fees ban but should you wish to discuss this in more details please do not hesitate to contact us in the shop, by email or find us on facebook.