Tenant Fees Act 2019
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 (‘the Act’) comes into force on the 01 June 2019. This Act is wide ranging and will have a considerable impact on the private rented sector in England.
Assured shorthold tenancies, licences to occupy (excluding social housing) and student lettings in England granted on or after 01 June 2019 will be affected. If a tenancy was granted before the 01 June 2019, payments which may be prohibited under the Act can still be charged but only until 31 May 2020. From the 01 June 2020, all tenancies and licences (previously referred to) will be caught by the Act.
New Guidance on the Tenant Fees Act 2019, was added to the site last month. As a result of the wide impact the Act will have on the private rented sector in England, the relevant template documents have been updated as follows:
- Residential Lettings Agency Terms and Conditions to reflect the caps on security deposits introduced by the act.
- Residential Lettings Agency Appointment Forms to make clear that only permitted payments can be charged to tenants.
- Lettings Agency Fee List to list what payments can be charged to the tenant and which payments must be met by the landlord.
- Holiday Lettings Agreements. Although licences for holiday lets are excluded from the Tenant Fees Act 2019, several of our tenancy agreement templates for letting holiday accommodation out of season will be caught by the Act.
- Residential Tenancy Referencing Documents. The cost of obtaining tenant references cannot be charged to the tenant.
- Guidance on Tenancy Deposit Protection to reflect the caps on security deposits and holding deposits introduced by the act.
- Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), Home Business Tenancy Agreements, Student Letting Agreements and Licences to Occupy a Room to ensure that all payments charged to the tenant are permitted under the act and to incorporate the default fees and appropriate level of late payment interest allowed under the act.
- Guidance on Section 8 and Section 21 Notices. If prohibited payments are charged or a holding deposit not repaid to the tenant in breach of the act, this will invalidate the service of a Section 21 Notice (Form 6A) in England.
- Guidance Note: Dealing with Property Left Behind by Residential Tenants. Landlords are prohibited from charging tenants for the removal and storage of possessions left behind by a tenant at the end of their tenancy.
Further regulations have been passed making changes to the prescribed Section 21 Notice (Form 6A) (England). The template Section 21 Notice (Form 6A) (England) will be amended to reflect the changes to the form prescribed pursuant to The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2019. These regulations were passed on 07 May 2019 to coincide with the Act. The new form of notice must be used from 01 June 2019. The template form will be amended prior to this date.
The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019, received Royal Assent on the 15 May 2019 and is due to come into force on the 01 September 2019. The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 contains similar provisions to the Tenant Fees Act 2019. Further guidance and updated documents, on this Act, will be produced before it is due to come into force.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.