On 12 February the Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into law implementing the so-called tenant fee ban. The provision will take effect on 1 June 2019 for new and renewal tenancies and licences. From 1 June 2020 the law will apply to existing tenancies and licences.
Tenant Fee Ban
The Act restricts fees that landlords and letting agents can charge to tenants in relation to ASTs, student accommodation and licences. Rent deposits cannot exceed 5 weeks rent. Landlords cannot set a higher year 1 rent to recoup costs and holding deposits must not exceed one weeks rent and must be repaid.
Terms that are in breach will be unenforceable and the landlord or letting agent could be fined up to £5000 and if a second offence is committed within 5 years a criminal offence is committed and a fine or banning order can be imposed or a civil penalty of up to £30,000. Tenants will be able to recover unlawful payments made and a landlord cannot serve a section 21 notice to end a tenancy whilst retaining unlawful sums.
Trading standards are the enforcing authority.
Attwells Solicitors specialise in advising Estate Agents and other property professionals. If you need some guidance on the Tenant Fee Ban or any other sector specific issues please call Nick Attwell on 01473 229242.