TENANT FEE BAN & CHANGE TO DEPOSITS
Legislation is changing again in the lettings world and from 1st June 2019 agents and landlords will not be allowed to charge tenants/potential tenants anything that has not been exempt.
This includes payments to third parties, either for services throughout the tenancy or for specific performance of a job and loans from third parties.
In short this means that pretty much any fee that is in the tenancy agreement will be void unless it is exempt.
Examples of banned fees would be:
• Credit checks
• Cleaning services
• Professional cleaning
• Having the property de-flead as a condition of allowing pets in the property
• Admin charges
• Requirements to have specific insurance providers
• Gardening services
Please note, however,
- Holding deposits, rent, deposits and charges for defaulting on the contract are all exempt from this ban.
- However, all 4 are subject to additional restrictions as part of the legislation and landlords and agents will need to be mindful of these changes.
- In addition, most required payments to third parties are prohibited, however a landlord can require the tenant to use a specific utility or communications provider.
- Breaches to tenancy agreements can be addressed using the tenancy deposit, for example cleaning, gardening, damage etc.
- Landlords may charge for changing tenants or allowing tenants to vacate the property early. This is subject to restrictions on costs.
- Deposits will be limited to 5 weeks rent as a maximum amount for tenancies where the annual rent is below £50,000.
- Deposits for tenancies where the annual rent is £50,000 or more are limited to the equivalent of 6 weeks rent.
Please be assured that as a company, Stuart & Partners will endeavour to provide the best service possible within the confines of the new legislation. However, there will be changes with regards to requirements for professional cleaning at the end of a tenancy, gardening etc dictated by the new laws. Please also note that we will no longer be able to ask a tenant for anything more than a 5 week deposit where the annual rent is below £50,000. We may need to pass some charges on to our landlords, however, at the present time the details of this are undecided. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are unclear how this may affect you.