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Tenant Fees Act 'transition period' ends: what fees can landlords still charge?

2-minute read

Mollie Millman

11 June 2020

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The Tenant Fees Act came into force last year. It banned administration fees relating to new tenancies, with a transition period up to 31 May this year.

Now the transition period has ended, what are the different types of fees that landlords can still charge tenants?

New law introduced in June 2019

The Tenant Fees Act banned landlords and letting agents from charging many of the fees they’d previously been permitted to charge tenants.

But, up to the end of May, some tenant fees could still be charged if they were set out in tenancies agreed before the start of the new law introduced in June 2019.

The fees that have been banned under the new law include those for carrying out inventories or referencing.

However, from the beginning of this month, there are now only a limited number of charges that can lawfully be levied on tenants.

Any breach of the fee ban could lead to a penalty of up to £5,000, with any further breaches potentially resulting in a criminal record and an unlimited fine.

What can landlords still charge for?

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is taking this opportunity to remind landlords what fees they can still charge. These include holding rent, tenancy deposits, default charges, and early termination charges.

Landlords may also still charge for amendments to tenancy agreements, utilities, communication services (such as a phone or internet line) TV licences and council tax.

Transitional period has ended

Steve Harriott, Chief Executive of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, explained the importance of 1 June this year for landlords, saying: “The Fees Act is fully in force and the transitional period has ended.”

The implication for landlords is that they can no longer make claims via the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for things like unpaid check-in or check-out fees.

How does this affect tenancy deposits?

The Tenant Fees Act also introduced a deposit cap of five weeks’ rent – or six weeks where rents are £50,000 a year or more – and this remains unchanged on new tenancies.

It means that landlords don’t need to reduce the deposit below the cap unless a new or renewed fixed-term tenancy is agreed.

The situation is different in Wales, where there is no tenancy cap and there are different fees that can be charged.

For example, fees can be charged in England to make an amendment to the tenancy agreement, but this is not allowed in Wales.

How has the tenant fees ban affected you as a landlord? Let us know in the comments section.

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