Tenant Fees Act -What does this mean for Tenants & Landlords?

The Tenant Fees Act identifies the governments approach with regard to the scheduled ban on letting fees paid by tenants in the private rented sector and limited the tenancy deposits in England. The Act is due to come into force on the 1st June but what does it mean for tenants and landlords?

Overview – The Act aims to reduce the costs paid by tenants at the start and throughout their tenancy. It is part of the government’s wider plans to bridge the gap by creating fairer and more affordable arrangements between tenants and landlords within the private rented sector.

Tenants – will have full transparency of costs associated with any rental property advertised with no hidden costs.

Landlords – will be responsible for paying for the service of marketing the property through a letting agent. This will help to ensure that the fees charged accurately reflect the value of the services provided and means letting agents will need to be competitive in order to secure a landlords’ business.

Enforcement – Local enforcement authorities will have primary responsibility for enforcing this legislation. The Tenant Fees Act will also create an independent lead enforcement authority to oversee the operation of letting agency legislation. The lead enforcement authority will provide advice and information to local authorities in undertaking their duties. Bristol city council has been appointed as the lead enforcement authority for lettings.

What does this mean for the Landlord? – If you are in receipt of a fee which is banned under the Act and you serve a Section 21 notice on your Tenant this notice will be considered invalid and you will not be able to rely upon this at court. However, unlike other legislation the Tenant Fee Ban allows for the Tenant to agree for any prohibited payment to be paid towards rent. Should the tenant not agree then the prohibited payment will need to be returned.

For full government guidance on the Tenants Fees Act 2019 please follow the link.

Else Solicitors specialise in Landlord and Tenant Disputes. If you require expert legal advice in relation to the private rental sector please contact rachel.greenway@elselaw.co.uk or call the office on 01283 526 200.

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