What are the new letting fees rules in England?
At the moment, tenants can be charged admin fees – such as tenancy renewal fees, referencing fees and credit check fees – by landlords and letting agents. According to Citizens Advice, the average amount paid is £400.
But landlords and their agents will no longer be able to charge the fees for tenancies signed on or after 1 June.
Any costs will now need to be met by the landlord – and some have warned landlords may up their rents to recover these costs as a result
From 1 June, the only costs landlords and agents will be able to charge tenants for will be:
- Utilities and council tax if included within the tenancy
- A refundable deposit, capped at six weeks’ rent. The cap could be five weeks’ rent for properties where the annual rent is less than £50,000, under an amendment put forward in the House of Lords
- A refundable holding deposit to reserve the property, capped at one week’s rent
- Changes to the tenancy requested by the tenant, capped at £50 (or “reasonable costs”)
- Early termination of the tenancy requested by the tenant
- Defaults by the tenant, such as fines for late rent payments or lost keys. These must be “reasonable costs”, with evidence given in writing by the landlord or agent
Any other fees will be banned, and landlords or agents found charging the fees could be fined £5,000 for a first offence. If they break the rules again within five years, they could be given an unlimited fine.