Which tenant fees are to be banned?
According to the details released at the start of November, almost all fees (other than rent) previously charged to tenants by letting agents and landlords will be banned.
Notably, this includes the cost of referencing and inventory checks, which make up the bulk of fees at the start and end of the tenancy. It also covers third parties, meaning you can’t ask tenants to pay an external referencing company, for example.
What are landlords and letting agents allowed to charge tenants for?
Landlords and letting agents are, of course, still allowed to charge rent, as well as the following three exceptions:
- Security deposits (capped at 6 weeks’ rent)
- Holding deposits (capped at 1 week’s rent)
- Tenant default charges
When will this ban happen?
The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government told the BBC that it was not expecting the ban to be implemented until “after spring 2019 at the earliest”.
David Cox, CEO of ARLA, told EYE that earlier implementation had come to look impossible: “The ban is currently in its pre-legislative scrutiny stage and the Draft Bill Committee only starting hearing oral evidence on Monday. The Committee still need to hear all the evidence and make their recommendations to ministers.
“The Government must then finalise the Bill before taking it all the way through the full Parliamentary process.
“Even after the ban passes Parliament and is signed into law by the Queen as an Act of Parliament, the Government will still need to put together the secondary legislation, which will need to go back before Parliament for approval before the ban actually comes into force.
“Therefore, when considering all these steps, at this stage April 2019 seems to be a likely date for the ban to come into force.”
If you would like to know more, please contact the Lettings team at JTM Homes.