What does it cover?
The Tenant Fees Bill sets out the government’s approach to banning letting fees for tenants. The key measures of the bill include:
– Security deposits must not exceed the equivalent of six weeks’ rent.
– Holding deposits will be capped at no more than one week’s rent.
– The Bill also sets out the proposed requirements on landlords and agents to return a holding deposit to a tenant. The amount that can be charged for a change to tenancy will be capped at £50 unless the landlord demonstrates that greater costs were incurred.
Alongside rent and deposits, agents and landlords will only be permitted to charge tenants fees associated with:
-A change or early termination of a tenancy when requested by the tenant.
-Payments arising from a default by the tenant such as replacing lost keys.
The Bill will also ban landlords charging for accompanied viewings, receiving an inventory, signing a contract, or renewing a tenancy. It will allow letting agents and landlords to charge fees relating to rent, security deposits, holding deposits, or when a tenant breaches a contract.
What do HouseMates charge?
Our fees are very transparent from the start.
They’re fixed at £75 for 6 months, £150 for 3 months. This is a flat, one off fee, if you decided you want to changes rooms/houses there is a small charge of £40. We often run seasonal offers to reduce these fee’s too.
What do other agents charge?
Other agents local to the area charge for EVERYTHING!
This is an average amount obtained online:
One Applicant £198 (£165 + VAT)
Second Applicant £90 (£75 + VAT) ie; two applicants £288
Guarantor £72 (£60 + VAT)
Company £300 (£250 + VAT)
Immigration Checks £16 + VAT
Amendment Fees, Renewal Fees, Check out Fees.
When does it come in?
The ban on tenant fees will apply to all tenancies commencing on or after 1 June 2019.
What are you rights?
As a tenant or applicant you have right to full transparency. If you have questions about what you’re being charged for don’t hesitate to ask – whether your renting with us or someone else.
What is being done to enforce this?
A fine of £5,000 for an initial breach of the ban with a criminal offence where a person has been fined or convicted of the same offence within the last 5 years.
Financial penalties of up to £30,000 can be issued as an alternative to prosecution.
Trading Standards will enforce the ban and will make provisions for tenants to be able to recover unlawfully charged fees via the First-tier Tribunal.
Landlords are prevented from recovering possession of their property via the section 21 until they have repaid any unlawfully charged fees.