The Extension of the Tenant Fees Act 2019
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 (‘the Act’) prohibited certain payments that landlords and letting agents could charge tenants under any new tenancies in England caught by the Act from 01 June 2019.
If a tenancy was granted before the 01 June 2019, payments which may be prohibited under the Act could still be charged but only until 31 May 2020.
From 01 June 2020, all tenancies and licences caught by the Act will be affected.
Assured shorthold tenancies, licences to occupy (excluding social housing) and student lettings in England are caught by the Act.
Under the Act:
1. Certain fees (including letting fees) are banned from being charged to a tenant (these costs must be fronted by the landlord);
2. Security and holding deposits will now be capped and strict timeframes have been introduced for repayment of the holding deposit;
3. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has been amended requiring all letting agents who advertise on third party websites (such as Zoopla and Rightmove) to publish their fees on these websites or add a link to where their fees are published.
If a landlord or letting agent fails to comply with the Act, they will face fines of up to £5,000 for a summary offence and further fines or a criminal conviction for repeat offences.
It is important that all residential landlords and letting agents are aware of these changes and should ensure that their business models, internal practices and procedures are compliant with the Act.
Please see the Guidance Note: Tenant Fees Act 2019 (England) for further information.
Here at Simply-Docs the property templates were updated to reflect these legislative changes and can be used for all existing tenancies from 01 June 2020.
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.