Tenants - FEES & CHARGES:

 

Click here to read a guide for tenants in Wales

 

On 1st September 2019 a new law came into place                              making it an offence for an agent or landlord to charge certain fees to (potential) tenants.

What does this mean?

Any payment a tenant is required to pay, unless permitted by the Act, is banned and is a “prohibited payment”. This is referred to in this guidance as “the ban”.
Landlords and agents can’t require the grant of a loan to them, or require a person to enter into a contract for services with them as a condition of a tenancy.

Does this apply to current tenancy agreements?

No. Any tenancy agreement which is entered into prior to 1 September 2019 will not be subject to the requirements of the Act.

 

What can letting agents ask a tenant to pay (permitted payments) in accordance with the tenant fee act 2019 for an assured shorthold tenancy?

 

1. A payment for rent - paid in advance (prior to signing the tenancy agreement)

A tenant's regular payment to a landlord for the use of property or land

 

2. Security deposit / tenancy deposit - maximum is equivalent to 1 months rent + £100.00 

A security or “tenancy” deposit is any sum of money intended to be held by the landlord or agent otherwise as security against any losses incurred through the actions of the tenant. Click here to see more information on the Deposit Protection Service and what happens to your tenancy deposit 

 

3. Pet deposit - £100.00 minimum

A pet security deposit will be required should the tenant wish to move in with their pet. This is paid in addition to the tenancy deposit

 

3. Holding deposit - a maximum of 1 weeks rent (rent £pcm / 4.35)

A holding deposit is a small deposit which is paid by a tenant to secure a property. It allows the landlord or agent to check the suitability of a tenant; pending successful completion of their suitability tests. A holding deposit can be any amount up to a maximum of the equivalent of one weeks’ rent. This money will then be deducted from the remaining balance OR if false or misleading information has been given will not be refunded. the holding deposit secures the property for a maximum of 15 calendar days from receipt, the tenancy must then start unless otherwise agreed.

 

4. Early temination of tenancy when requested by the tenant - £50 + VAT for administration and any financial loss suffered by the landlord

This is when the tenant has requested to terminate the tenancy

 

5. Payments in default (when the tenant breaches the contract) - £25 inc VAT

A payment in default is a payment required by the landlord or agent arising from a breach of the tenancy agreement by the tenant, whether late payment of rent by its due date or some other breach. There are occasions where it would be unfair for the landlord to be responsible for meeting the cost to them as a result of the actions of the tenant. Late rent default payments will be required when the rent is 14 days late and subsequenty every 7 days

 

Examples of types of default payments could be:

 

Missed appointments – £25 + VAT

Such as a landlord arranging with a tenant for a contractor to carry out remedial work at a property, and a tenant subsequently refusing entry, or not being home to allow entry, resulting in charges to the landlord.

 

Avoidable or purposeful damage to property – Equivalent to costs incurred for repairs plus £5 +VAT maintenance work handling charge 

Damage to a property caused by neglect or careless or wilful behaviour by the tenant. A £5.00 plus VAT handling charge for any maintenance or work carried out at your property that we have organised

 

Replacement keys – Equivalent to costs incurred for replacing plus £5 + VAT maintenance work handling charge  

Loss of keys by the tenant requiring a landlord to arrange for the cutting of new keys and delivery of those keys to the tenant.

 

Emergency/out of hours call-out fees – Equivalent to costs incurred by trades person and or agent plus £5 + VAT maintenance work handling charge

Fees incurred as a result of a landlord arranging for someone to attend the tenant’s property at the request of a tenant, such as a locksmith or an emergency glazier at the early hours of the morning, when the problem had been caused by the tenant in the first place, such as a window broken on purpose, or keys locked inside a house.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

6. Payments in respect of council tax - as agreed with council tax

A payment that a tenant is required to make to a council in respect of council tax is a permitted payment.

 

7. Payments in respect of utilities -  as agreed with utility providers

A payment for or in connection with the provision of a utility (water, sewerage (including cesspits), gas, electricity or other fuel). A payment towards energy efficiency improvements under a Green Deal Plan (within the meaning of section 1 of the Energy Act 2011) is permitted if it is required under a tenancy agreement and made in respect of the dwelling subject to the contract.

 

8. Payments in respect of a television licence - as agreed with T.V. licencing 

A payment that a tenant is required to make to the British Broadcasting. Corporation in respect of a television licence is a permitted payment.

 

9. Payments in respect of communication services - as agreed with provider

A payment that a tenant is required to make for or in connection with a communication service is a permitted payment if required under a tenancy agreement and made in respect of the dwelling subject to the contract. This includes payments to enable internet access, cable or satellite television or for the use of a telephone other than a mobile telephone.

 

                                                     

 

 

 

SA Property are members of:

The Property Ombudsman, Client Money Protection, Deposit Protection Service and are

on the approved code of trading standards

 

Click here to read a guide for tenants in Wales

 

 

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