Since Saturday 1st June, fundamental changes have been made concerning the fees that can lawfully be charged to people seeking privately rented accommodation in England.
In summary the new rules:
- Outlaw many types of up-front tenant fees.
- Prevent a landlord taking a security deposit which exceeds five weeks’ rent.
- Prevent a landlord requiring a tenant to contract with a third party (preventing someone else receiving an unlawful payment on the landlord’s behalf).
Landlord and agents breaking the rules are subject to various sanctions. These include:
- Fines imposed by trading standards.
- A second breach within five years of a previous fine being a criminal offence, and
- The landlord being unable to serve a section 21 notice, if they have taken a prohibited payment.
Tenants, licensees and ‘relevant persons’ (acting on the occupier’s behalf or who guaranteed the rent) can also apply to the First Tier Tribunal to recover unlawfully charged fees.
READ the full Tenant Fees Act 2019 legislation here
GUIDANCE on the new act for tenants, landlords, letting agents and local authority enforcement officers here
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