Royal Assent: Tenant Fees Bill passes into law

Manchester Student Accommodation Full Supports the Tenant Fees Bill, banning landlord and agents from charging fees to tenants has now been given Royal Assent and will apply to all tenancies signed after June 1.

The bill – which has now officially become an Act of Parliament – prevent landlords and agents from charging: ‘Anything not exempted, that the tenant is required to pay as a condition of the ‘of the grant, renewal, continuance, variation, assignment, novation or termination of’ an assured shorthold tenancy, or licence agreement.

This includes payments to third parties, either for services throughout the tenancy or for specific performance of a job and loans from third parties.

Once the ban comes into force landlords will mostly be limited to taking payments for rent and deposits from tenants – with rules around the size of the deposits and how they are dealt with significantly tightened.

Deposits will be limited to five weeks, where annual rent is below £50,000 with new, stricter rules on holding deposits.

Damages caused by the tenant’s breach of tenancy, such as the costs of cleaning the property after the tenancy ends, will still be deductible from the deposit. In addition there are two other ‘default fees’ you will be able to charge, if either:

  • the tenant loses their keys or
  • is late paying the rent.

These fees will also be limited.

Landlords can still charge for a change to the tenancy requested by the tenant, or if a tenant wants to leave early. A full guide to the Tenant Fees Bill is available on the RLA website.

Timeline

The Act will now be implemented on June 1 this year.

The Act applies in England, with plans for a similar ban on tenants’ fees in Wales still being debated.

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