The Tenant Fees Bill can soon be a reality for tenants in England. The Government also answered upon the HCLG Select Committee report on the draft Tenant Fees Bill.
The main changes the Tenant Fees Bill can be read here. The most important provisions in the document that are to affect tenants (and landlords) are:
- Maximum security deposits: six weeks’ rent.
- The upper limit for holding deposits can be of no more than one week’s rent.
- The landlords can charge more than £50 for sharer charges only after they prove that the costs were greater than the amount mentioned.
- Landlords will not be able to issue a Section 21 notice until they have repaid any unlawfully charged fees.
- Letting agent transparency requirements will be included in The Consumer Rights Act 2015. This will also be applied to websites and portals that do lettings.
Moreover, the Trading Standards should help tenants to recover unlawfully charged fees via the First-tier Tribunal.
To sum up, there are only some limited extra-charges a landlord or an agent can charge the tenant with:
- a change or early termination of a tenancy when requested by the tenant
- utilities, communication services and Council Tax
- payments arising from a default by the tenant such as replacing lost key
What is your opinion upon the bill? Does it help enough tenants? Are landlords and agents too restricted?