The law on tenant fees is changing from 1 June 2019. Do you know what fees a landlord or agent can ask tenants to pay?
A landlord cannot require a tenant (or anyone acting on their behalf or guaranteeing their rent) to make certain payments in connection with a tenancy in England.
Landlords cannot require a tenant to enter a contract with a third party for the provision of a service or for insurance or to make a loan in connection with a tenancy.
The only payments in connection with a tenancy that a tenant can be asked to make are:
- The rent
- A refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is less than £50,000 or six weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
- A refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week’s rent
- Payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
- Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
- Payments for utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax
- A default fee for late payment of rent or replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement
If the payment a landlord or agent is charging is not on this list it is not lawful, and a landlord or agent should not ask the tenant to pay it.
If a landlord or agent has charged a prohibited payment the tenant should follow the steps on page 10 of the government guide guidance for tenants.
A landlord cannot evict a tenant using the section 21 eviction procedure until the landlord has repaid any unlawfully charged fees or returned an unlawfully retained holding deposit.
All other rules around the application of the section 21 evictions procedure will continue to apply.
Please note: this guidance applies to England only.
For more information please see: