1st June 2019, marked the official enforcement of the Tenant Fees Act (TFA). As mentioned in our previous blog regarding Tenant rights, this is likely to be one of many government legalisation that will be introduced over the next few years.
Contracts signed before 1st June 2019 do not fall under the new TFA rule, however after 1st June 2020 any contract that has any banned tenant fees are deemed as void by the TFA
Changes for Landlords to know
From the 1st June 2019, Landlords can no longer provide agreements that include the following services:
Credit and immigration checks
Drawing up or renewing a tenancy
Check out fees, including on Saturdays (unless related to early terminated by the tenant)
Fees via a third party
Acquiring a rent guarantor
Chimney sweeping services
If you happen to charge a tenant any of these banned fees, you would not be able to evict them with a section 21 notice until the charges are repaid. You also run the risk incurring a £5,000 fine as a civil offence.
Changes for Tenants to know
Please note, if you have signed a contract before 1st June 2019, unrestricted tenant fees still apply to you until 1st June 2020.
Unfortunately, not all charges are excluded from this new legalisation, you should still expect to be charged for the following:
Late payment of rent, subject to the following scenarios;
If you’re 14 days late with your rental payment
Late payment fee is written within your agreement
Late payment fee is not above 3% APR (Bank of England base rate)
Charges can only be enforced by the landlord or agent, not both
Lost keys or fobs, subject to the following scenarios;
Lost key fee is written within your agreement
Charges need to be deemed reasonable, there is no explicit amount defined yet
Ending your tenancy early, subject to the following scenarios;
Charge will only occur if the landlord or agent agrees to the early termination or leave without notice
Charges can only amount to the loss incurred by the landlord or agent . This also needs to be seen as reasonable.
Changing or reassigning your tenancy, subject to the following scenarios;
Charges are limited to £50 if you change a term within your tenancy
Charges are limited to £50 if you assign your tenancy to someone else
Landlord can only increase these charges if they can prove it cost more than £50
Payments of utilities, comms and council tax, if not included in the rent;
Utility payments i.e. gas, electricity and water
Communication services i.e. broadband, television license and phone
Any other bills that are not included within the rent
A refundable tenancy deposit
A refundable tenancy holding deposit
Up front rental payment
Be aware that all disputes can be escalated to the trading standards at your local council or a redress scheme. If the landlord happens to break rules more than once, the council could impose a ban on their ability to rent out properties in the future.
We also have a cash reward referral scheme for anyone that connects us with landlords successfully.
Normette Homes specialise in providing guaranteed rent and free management services.