26 Feb Guide to the Tenant Fee Ban
We are keen to ensure our clients and readers are up to date with the latest news and events in the property industry. We understand how small fluctuations in the market could impact your decision-making when it comes to your next property move.
A new law
In May 2018 the government introduced the Tenant Fees Bill to Parliament and in January this year it was announced that the ban would come in to force in June 2019. The Tenant Fees Act received Royal Assent and became law on 12 February 2019. The new law only applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), student accommodation, and licences. Company lets will not be affected.
What is the Tenant Fee Ban
For those of you who are unaware of the ban, simply put it is some new legislation designed to make renting fairer for tenants and while it isn’t in force yet, everyone will need to adhere to the new law from the 1st June 2019.
The new legislation will predominantly deal with fees charged at the beginning of the tenancy, but also covers renewal fees, check-out fees and the size of the deposit. Anything which means the landlord incurs a cost as a direct action of the tenant will still be redeemable by the landlord but must have supporting documentation such as invoices.
Which fees WILL be permitted?
- refundable holding deposits
- security deposits
- charges for changing the tenancy (including early termination of agreement)
- charges for defaulting on the tenancy agreement
- Utilities – where applicable
What impact does this have on agencies?
For a large number of letting agents this spells the end of a bit of a cloak and dagger period where mystery charges were bolted on to tenancy agreements to the direct benefit of their profit margin. Losing the ability to do this will inevitably damage their customer service levels as they look to slash costs.
From the Barton Wyatt point of view, it’s unlikely to affect us in the slightest. Our Tenant Fees have always been very low compared to most other agents and the plan has always been to phase them out entirely as the market has changed and the demand for fewer fees has increased.
Get in touch
We market dozens of properties to let in Wentworth Estate and the surrounding area every year, and so if you are thinking of moving to the area or simply browsing our properties to let in Virginia Water, make sure you get in touch with us on the details below.
For existing and prospective landlords out there if you would like to speak with an agent who will always carry your best interests at heart, make sure you speak with a member of our expert staff. You can call us on 01344 843000 or email us. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.