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UK ‘Tenant Fees Act 2019’ Explained

The real estate market in the United Kingdom may be tricky compared to the American one. However, it’s way easier to figure out how to deal with long-term residential renting if you have one of our extensive guides handy.

Today we’ve prepared a detailed guide on the ‘Tenant Fees Act 2019’, we’ll let you know what’s that legislation about and how this will affect your next leasing experience.

What is a Tenant Fees Act?

Affecting June 2019, the Tenant Fees Act becomes mandatory, and every landlord and tenant should follow the rules from this document. 

Basically, we’re dealing with the extensive document that prohibits landlords and real estate agents from charging any made-up fees, except those listed in the Act. 

Does the Tenant Fees Act Affect My Lease Agreement?

This Act affects every lease that has been signed after June 1, 2019. So depending on your lease date, this ruling may cover you.

Landlords, tenants, and real estate brokers are all obligated to follow this Act.

What parts of the united kingdom are affected by tenant fees act?

For now, Wales and Northern Ireland do not have the same policy regarding the residential leasing fees. However, the Welsh renters are also waiting for the government to approve the same Act that has already been introduced in June 2018. 

Also, Scotland has already banned the renting fees, so it’s only a matter of time when some of the leasing fees will become obsolete for the whole UK.

What Are the Letting Fees Prohibited by the Fees Act After June 2019?

Here is a shortlist of the most important fees that are now permitted by the English government:

  • Rent
  • Tenancy deposit (with some exclusions mentioned below)
  • Holding deposit (an equivalent of one week’s rent)
  • Lease agreement changes (if you bring a pet or decide to run your business from your rental property)
  • Utilities
  • Broadband internet, TV license, etc.
  • Tenant termination fees

There is a list of fees that should be written down in the lease agreement by default. Make sure your agreement has these before you sign it to comply with the law:

  • Late rent payments (3% interest is the maximum amount, a landlord will be able to charge it after 14 days of no payment)
  • Re-keying (changing the locks and security elements of the rental unit)

The Act states that any leasing fees that are not listed in the ‘permitted’ section are strictly prohibited.

What Are the Letting Fees Prohibited by the Fees Act After June 2019?

Let’s see what kind of fees your landlord or broker cannot charge you no matter the case:

  • Rental unit tours
  • References
  • Inventory checks
  • Pet fee or deposit
  • Renewal fees
  • Interest on fees listed in the permitted section above
  • Rental unit cleaning after the end of tenancy
  • Third-party services fees
  • Gardening services
  • Right to Rent check
  • Guarantors
  • etc.

See the full list of the fees that the government permits and prohibits by the Tenant Fees Act in 2019

How you will benefit from the Tenant Fees Act as a renter

The whole idea of this legislation is to protect residential property renters from unfair and unreasonable fees. This should make the housing more affordable and balance the landlord-tenant relationships, excluding shady fee scams. 

New holding deposit cap is set in the Tenant Fees Act to one week’s rent. Also, as a tenant, you will only be obligated to pay £50 for each change of tenancy agreement unless your landlord can prove it costs more.

One of the key benefits of this Act is the new timeframe for landlords and brokers to pay back those fees that they’ve charged unfairly. This means that you’ll be able to get your money back faster without back-and-forth calls and long bureaucratic fights.

Your landlord could not evict you using the Section 21 procedure now unless he paid back all the fees along with the holding deposit that he/she charged unlawfully.

Here’s where you can find the government Tenant Fees Act explanatory notes

Full TFA Guidance for Tenants

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