Latest Notification of letting agent fee in UK
The idea of a new tenants bill first reared its head in April 2017, when the Government launched an eight-week consultation and gathered 4,274 views and details on how a potential ban could be introduced.
This consultation was, to many, long overdue, with fees rising in London to an average of £404 for a two person household and similarly across the country. Critics pointed to credit checks that benefited landlords but where charged to tenants, often at more than £50 for a typically short and simple task for letting agent upton park E13 & letting agent upton park E16.
While the resulting bill was slow to make its way through parliament, with much of the time and focus directed to Brexit, it was, never the less, given Royal Assent and passed into law as the Tenant Fees Act 2019 on 12th February.
The Act can be read in full here, but below are some of the key me
- Landlords and lettings agents fee in UK will be banned from charging tenants for credit checks, inventories and references.
- The security deposit a tenant pays should not be more than the equivalent of five weeks’ rent. However, if the annual rent is more than £50,000, deposits should not exceed six weeks’ rent.
- Holding deposits are still legal but should be no more than one weeks’ rent.
- The amount landlords and letting agents can charge to can a tenancy is capped at £50 unless it can be shown that greater costs were incurred.
- For each fee that is charged unlawfully, a fine of £5,000 can be imposed, along with a criminal offence when a person has, for the same offence, been convicted or fined in the last five years.
- Financial penalties up to £30,000 can be issued as an alternative to prosecution.
Trading Standards will help tenants recover fees charged unlawfully via the First-tier Tribunal and enforce the ban.