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Tenant Fees Ban Has Been Extended

Fri 24 Jul 2020

We know local landlords have a lot to consider right now, but we are here to help. If you are a Huddersfield landlord looking for guidance or support in complying with regulations, ADM Residential is here to assist you.

While new regulations continue to be implemented, many existing regulations are being updated. The Tenant Fees Act is an example of a change in regulations that landlords across the country must be aware of.

The Tenant Fees Ban was introduced on 1st June 2019, but now, one year later on, it applies to existing tenancies and new tenancies. Landlords and rental properties which were unaffected in the first year should now review the Act to ensure they comply with regulations.

David Cox is the Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark and he said; “I think some agents will need a nudge to remind them that, in particular, they must examine their records to ensure they have not charged any advance check-out fees or any other advance fees in the past however long ago the money was taken. Agents have to remember that any fees taken in advance previously – and entirely lawfully at the time – have now become prohibited payments this morning, and have to be returned.”

What can landlords and agents no longer charge for?

·         Property viewings

·         Reference checks

·         Credit checks

·         Insurance policies

·         Guarantor requests

·         Fees to cover administrative work

·         Gardening services

What is the penalty for landlords who breach the laws?

A breach of the Tenant Fees ban can result in a penalty of up to £5,000. If a landlord breaches the ban regularly, they can receive an unlimited fan and face criminal charges.

Steve Harriott is the Chief Executive of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), and he said: “Today is an important date in the calendar for landlords and letting agents in England, as it means that the Tenant Fees Act is fully in force and the transitional period has ended. The implication for TDS is that we should no longer see deposit disputes where landlords or letting agents seek to make claims for things like unpaid check-in or check-out fees.”

What can landlords and letting agents still charge for?

·         Holding deposits

·         Deposits

·         A fee when there is a change in tenancy agreement

·         Fees associated with the early termination of the tenancy

·         Utility bills

·         TV licence payments

·         Council tax

·         Interest fees for late rental payments

·         Fees covering reasonable costs when replacing keys or security devices

Which fees have been capped?

·         Contract changes have been capped at £50

·         If a tenant leaves the rental property early, the cap stands at the amount of rent which would have been due until the end of the tenancy

·         Late payments have been capped at 3% above the Bank of England base rate for every day the payment is late, assuming late payment charges are contained within the contract

·         The deposit has been capped at five weeks’ worth of rent when the annual rent is up to £50,000; and capped at six weeks’ worth of rent when the annual rent is higher

·         With respect to holding fees, the cap is now at one week’s rent, and this sum must be refunded (or put towards a rental payment or tenancy deposit) when the agreement has been signed

If you are a landlord in Huddersfield, contact us today. You can book a valuation or just chat about how we make a difference in letting your property. Of all the agents Huddersfield landlords can call on, we like to think our track record and expertise makes a difference in the local market, so contact ADM Residential today.

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