The Tenant Fee ban came into force on June 1st and, being so recent, there is still some confusion amongst tenants as to what the new rules are. Mount & Minster hope to make this a bit simpler and help answer a few questions that are already coming to light.
Tenancy DepositUnder the new legislation, a refundable tenancy deposit must be capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where your total annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where your total annual rent is £50,000 or above.
Default FeesA default fee can be charged for late payment of rent but only where the rent payment has been outstanding for 14 days or more from the date set out in your tenancy agreement, so if they charge you within two weeks of your rental due date, they’re breaking the law. Any fee charged by a landlord or agent cannot be more than 3% above the Bank of England’s base rate for each day that the payment has been outstanding.
Additional Charges - New Locks or KeysWhile there is no cap on additional charges, for example, to replace a lock and key, the Tenant Fee Act 2019 does state that they must be reasonable.
Changes to TenanciesCircumstances change and while they sometimes can’t be avoided it’s fair that when moving the goal posts there is some form of compensation involved. Any changes to a tenancy can only incur a charge of £50 unless a reasonably higher cost is incurred by the agent or landlord.
Early TerminationEarly termination of a contract can put a landlord at a disadvantage and early termination fees can include any outstanding rent plus an additional charge from the letting agent.
The revised legislation is still in it's infancy and no doubt there will be case law pending over the next few months that will shine more light on how lettings will continue to be managed. For help, whether you be a landlord or a tenant, Mount & Minster are always available for an informal chat.