The government has announced some good news for renting tenants.
New rules were introduced, banning unnecessary and unfair fees from letting agents, as well as capping tenancy deposits.
The new act prohibits letting agents and landlords from charging tenants a letting fee when they apply for a property.
The letting agents and landlords are only able to recover ‘reasonably incurred’ costs from tenants. They are also required to provide evidence of these costs.
The new legalisation aims to cut down on initial costs for tenants and costs acquired throughout their tenancy. The government hopes this will make the private rented sector more affordable and fairer.
The Tenant Fees Act will also cap security deposits at no more than 5 weeks’ rent. The holding deposits will be no more than 1 week’s rent.
It caps charge of change to a tenancy at £50 except in cases where the landlord proves that greater costs were incurred.
A £5,000 fine is being enforced for an initial breach of the ban.
Trading Standards are required to enforce the ban and arrange for tenants to be able to reclaim unlawfully charged fees.
Landlords are not be able to impose the section 21 Housing Act 1988 procedure to recover possession of the property until they have repaid any unlawfully charged fees.
Online property portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove might have been affected by the amendment made to the Consumer Rights Act 2015, to specify that the letting agent transparency requirements have also apply to them.
Finally, local authorities are able to keep the money raised through financial penalties.
The Tenant Fees Act took effect on the June 1, 2019.
Hopefully, these new changes are bringing some balance to the tenants and landlords’ relations. However, at Phoenix Legal Solicitors, we know that it is not always that easy.
Renting can be difficult, and many areas of tenancy can cause issues between the parties. It can be problems related to the disrepair, tenancy agreement, deposit, gas safety and others.
If you are having issues on any of these accounts, we can provide advice and support.