Q&A: Tenant Fees Act 2019

News at Thorgills | 11/06/2019




The Tenant Fees Act 2019 applies to new tenancies, and renewed tenancy agreements, signed on or after 1st June 2019. This major legislation has been in the pipeline for over two years. Our guide below can answer some of the questions you may have about the changes the Act has caused.

What can tenants be charged for?

The primary purpose of the Act is to reduce the costs tenants face when renting a property. Tenants will be able to see what any given property will cost them in the advertised rent, with no hidden costs.

To this end, the government has banned agents and landlords from charging any administration fees to the tenant – including, but not limited to, fees for arranging viewings, making an offer, referencing, preparing the tenancy agreement, check-ins and check-outs, and inventories.

The only payments which can now be charged to tenants are:

·         Rent

·         Payments for utilities, including communications services, TV licences, and council tax

·         A refundable tenancy deposit

·         A refundable holding deposit, to reserve a property

·         Payments associated with the early termination of the tenancy, if the tenant wishes to leave the property before their tenancy is over

·         Reasonable costs for other changes to the tenancy requested by the tenant

·         A default fee for late payment of rent, and for the replacement of lost keys or security devices

More information about tenant charges can be found on this page.

Does this change how I make an offer?

Placing an offer through Thorgills remains easy after the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act.

To place an offer with us, your broker will fill out an Application for Tenancy form for you to sign, and you’ll put down a refundable holding deposit equivalent to one week’s rent. Once your offer is accepted, that holding deposit will be put towards your first month’s rent.

How have the legislations changed the way deposits work?

Your tenancy deposit will now be capped at no more than five week’s rent, if your total annual rent is less than £50,000, which equates to a monthly rent of £4166. If your rent is higher than this, your deposit will be capped at six weeks’ rent.

You will also no longer be asked to pay an increased deposit contribution if you have a pet.

Apart from these changes, your deposit will function in exactly the same way as before, and will still be protected using the Deposit Protection Service.

If you don’t want to pay a deposit at all, Thorgills offers a Nil Deposit scheme through our partnership with Let Alliance. In this case, tenants will pay a single week’s rent plus vat, followed by a nominal monthly liability insurance fee. This service allows you to reduce your up-front costs even further, and you can read more about it here.
 

This is part of our series of FAQs. You can read the others here: Applying for a Mortgage - Energy Performance CertificatesExperian - Nil Deposit Scheme
MortgagesProperty Tenure - Remortgaging - Stamp Duty