What does the Tenant Fee Ban mean to you?

What does the Tenant Fee Ban mean to you?

What does the Tenant Fee Ban mean to you? – Over the years, regulations on renting property were always a challenge for the tenants, and landlords need to cope with everything. And the essential part of the changes made was the Tenant Fee Ban. It does not matter if you are a tenant or a landlord; what matters most is understanding the law and how it will affect you. On the for-sale website, here are the things that you should know.

What is the Tenant Fee Act all about?

The Tenant Fee Act was first introduced in 2019, and it aims to protect the tenants against unlawful actions of their landlords. It means that landlords and agents cannot charge extra letting fees to the tenants, especially if the fees are already set. In some cases, these tenant fees can potentially add £300 on top of the rent. 

The possible additional cost might burden the tenants, so the government came up with the Tenant Fee Act. It protects the tenants against addition of unlawful fees,

What are the Banned Letting Fees?

The Tenant Fee Ban means protection. Aside from the rent, letting agents and landlords are prohibited from collecting fees from tenants for the costs related to letting a property. The letting fees that are banned include:

Administration Fees

Credit Checks

Check Out Fees

Inventory Checks

Guarantor and Referencing Checks

Renewal of the Tenancy Agreement

Viewings (Tenants are not charged for looking out or viewing a potential rental property)

The Tenant Fees Act also provided a cap for deposits that the letting agents and landlords ask tenants. There are also corresponding penalties for landlords who break this ruling, and the fine can be up to £5000 for first-time offenders.

What is Tenant Fee Ban for Landlords?

The tenant fee ban obliged the landlords to cover some expenses on their own. However, there are still exceptions for the costs, including:

Deposits are capped for five weeks rent, but if the annual rent exceeds £50,000, landlords have the power to ask for six weeks’ rent.

Asking for a holding deposit to ensure the reservation of a property is allowed. However, it is only limited to a week’s rent, and the potential tenant is to refund the cost.

Default fees are allowed in certain situations. One of the exceptions is losing the key and charging on the default rent payment for more than 14 days.

The landlord has the power to charge the tenant up to £50. It is when the tenant demands to change some on the tenancy agreement. This additional cost is charged under the administration cost.

The landlords can imply an early termination fee. However, it is capped at the cost earned.

If you do not want to apply the charges mentioned above, note that the amount you come up with is considered fair and reasonable for the work itself. It should also be supported with written documentation.

Moreover, landlords are not allowed to increase the rent they already implement. Now, experts agree that landlords may do the following:

Have more extended and improved void periods 

Cut the potential improvements because of their inability to increase the rent unlawfully. 

Switch to self-management to the properties.

What is Tenant Fee Ban for Tenants?

Tenant Fee Ban means a lot for the tenants. It helps them with their finances and gives them proper protection against unlawful charges. With this law, fees became affordable and cheaper. The tenants are also not subject to unfair or unreasonable demands in the industry. 

To emphasize, your letting agent and landlord can no longer charge you for the administration fees, guarantor fees, and referencing or even check out fee in leaving a property. If you are a tenant and think that you are illegally charged, you can ask your landlord and let the agent explain through writing. You can also get some advice on the Citizens Advice website or question your local authority for assistance, information, and advice on what you can do and how to dispute your fee. 

What is the Purpose of Tenant Fee Ban?

Tenant Fee Ban aims to make renting processes for the tenants fair and reasonable. Before, most tenants were charged unfairly, and unable to speak out and protect their rights against additional fees. 

Know that private renters in the United Kingdom with their families and children pay more than £13 million every month because of the letting fees. The average payment per household is £700, and another £2,000 for moving to another property.

The process can be unfair because some tenants are also forced to look for another place if the landlord decides to sell the property. It means the tenants were not informed in advance of sale, and they did not have a choice.

Another thing is, the tenants can ask their letting agent about the cost of the credit checks, making tenancy agreements, and even referencing. Charges were mandatory before, especially for the administration fee, inventory fee, and renewal fee.

With people continuously moving every year, the abovementioned fees can be exhausting and become financially burdened. With the Tenant Fee Ban, renters or tenants are protected against unlawful fees. 

What are the Risks for Non-compliance?

Letting agents and landlords who fail to comply with the Tenant Fee Ban can face fines of up to £5,000. Those people who repeatedly breach this law are fined £30,000 and suffer from lawsuits.

Bear in mind that the changes are not specifically retroactive, so if the landlords and agents were paid for the corresponding fine, they will not be charged for the second time with the same charge. 

Conclusion

The United Kingdom is one of the first countries which implement the Tenant Fee Ban. It is a move to protect tenants from unlawful fees from their landlords and agents. Tenants can now be at ease with their rental property and not worry about the potential problems that might suddenly arise from any sudden fees they have to pay.

Poppy Watt

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