Landlords- Ready For Tenants Fee Ban?
The Tenants Fee Ban comes into force on the 1st of June 2019, applying to all new tenancies formed on or after this date. Most of the charges impacted by the Bill occur near the start of the lease, but check-out fees and renewal fees are also affected.
Landlords have had many regulations to contend with in recent times, so it is understandable that many professionals need assistance in keeping up to date. If you are looking for guidance on how the Tenants Fee Ban will affect you, or you need general help in running your business, contact Moore & York.
Don’t think that there are no fees you can still charge; this isn’t the case. However, many of the most common fees, especially fees associated with the start of the tenancy, are no longer eligible for landlords to charge.
Be aware of what fees are now illegal
Some fees will be deemed illegal, and other fees will be capped. If a landlord imposes an unlawful charge on a tenant, the tenant will be able to claim their money back. A failure to repay this money could lead to a fine or the landlord facing prosecution.
Landlords will no longer be able to charge for administration fees, such as references, credit checks or inventory checks. These tests and examinations are vital components of the letting process, and landlords cannot stop carrying out these checks. The risk of selecting an unsuitable tenant is higher than the added cost of these tests, but landlords must fully absorb these costs.
Administration fees throughout the tenancy are also illegal. A landlord is no longer allowed to charge a tenant for a tenancy renewal.
However, if the tenant requests a change to the tenancy, the landlord can charge a fee. If the tenant wishes to add, swap or remove a tenant, this will incur a cost as will the tenant ending the tenancy early. Also, if the tenant misses a rental payment, the landlord can charge a fee.
Landlords can charge fees relating to costs they have to deal with
If the landlord incurs a cost caused by the tenant, the landlord can charge. An example would be where the tenant loses their keys, and the landlord has to replace them. The landlord can pass the cost of getting new keys cut on to the tenant. However, the landlord isn’t able to charge any more than the cost of getting new keys cut, so it is recommended to retain the receipt.
Similarly, if the tenant leaves early, a landlord can only charge for lost rental income, not the full extent of the contract. If the tenant leaves the lease five weeks early, but the landlord fills the vacancy within three weeks, the landlord can only charge the former tenant three weeks rent.
Holding deposits are changing, with the landlord having 15 days after collecting a holding deposit to decide on whether the tenant’s application is accepted. If the landlord rejects the tenant’s application, they must return the deposit must be returned within seven days. If the applicant fails the Right To Rent check or doesn’t provide the landlord with adequate information, the landlord doesn’t have to return the full deposit.
If the application is successful, the landlord should return the deposit in seven days, or use the funds as part of the initial month’s rent or security deposit.
For tenancies where the annual rent is less than £50,000; the security deposit is capped at five weeks rent. When the yearly rent is £50,000 or more, there is a six-week cap on the security deposit.
With the Tenant Fees Bill coming into force on the 1st of June, landlords should prepare themselves. If you need any assistance, contact Moore & York, and we will be happy to assist you.
Moore & York Lettings’ Leicester office caters for properties to rent in the city centre and covers a wide radius of towns and villages including Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Hinckley, Markfield, Melton Mowbray and Oakham.
1 Rutland Street,
0116 275 63 60
Moore and York Lettings
Moore and York Lettings
‘Moore and York Lettings’ Loughborough office caters for properties to rent in the town centre and covers a wide radius of towns and villages including Birstall, Coalville, Kegworth, West Bridgeford and Thrussington.
18 Devonshire Square,
01509 21 45 46