Tenant Fees Ban Extended – Camberwell Landlords Take Note

22nd July 2020 posted in

If you are a landlord in Camberwell, and you are looking for guidance on managing property and ensuring your tenants are looked after, we can help. There is a wide range of regulations for landlords to consider. While there are regulations being added each year, existing regulations are being updated, giving landlords more to consider.

If you need assistance staying up to date with regulations, get in touch, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

The Tenant Fees Ban was introduced on 1st June 2019, but now, one year later on, it applies to existing tenancies and new tenancies. Landlords and rental properties which were unaffected in the first year should now review the Act to ensure they comply with regulations.

David Cox, the Chief Executive at ARLA Propertymark, said; “I think some agents will need a nudge to remind them that, in particular, they must examine their records to ensure they have not charged any advance check-out fees or any other advance fees in the past however long ago the money was taken. Agents have to remember that any fees taken in advance previously – and entirely lawfully at the time – have now become prohibited payments this morning, and have to be returned.”

What can landlords and agents no longer charge for?

·         Property viewings

·         Reference checks

·         Credit checks

·         Insurance policies

·         Guarantor requests

·         Fees to cover administrative work

·         Gardening services

What is the penalty for landlords who breach the laws?

A breach of the Tenant Fees ban can result in a penalty of up to £5,000. If a landlord breaches the ban regularly, they can receive an unlimited fan and face criminal charges.

What can landlords and letting agents still charge for?

·         A fee when there is a change in tenancy agreement

·         Council tax

·         Deposits

·         Fees associated with the early termination of the tenancy

·         Fees covering reasonable costs when replacing keys or security devices

·         Holding deposits

·         Interest fees for late rental payments

·         TV licence payments

·         Utility bills

Neli Borisova is a solicitor in the commercial litigation team at law firm JMW, and she said; “The Act is not very well-worded and the guidance issued by the MHCLG is unclear in several areas. For example, it is illogical to prohibit landlords and tenants reasonably pre-agreeing the cost of an end of tenancy clean, which gives tenants a clear understanding of their liabilities. The need to justify cleaning costs in each case potentially creates a further point for dispute between landlords and tenants.”

Which fees have been capped?

·         Contract changes have been capped at £50

·         If a tenant leaves the rental property early, the cap stands at the amount of rent which would have been due until the end of the tenancy

·         Late payments have been capped at 3% above the Bank of England base rate for every day the payment is late, assuming late payment charges are contained within the contract

·         The deposit has been capped at five weeks’ worth of rent when the annual rent is up to £50,000; and capped at six weeks’ worth of rent when the annual rent is higher

·         With respect to holding fees, the cap is now at one week’s rent, and this sum must be refunded (or put towards a rental payment or tenancy deposit) when the agreement has been signed

If you are looking for guidance or information regarding the housing market, please get in touch with Hunters Camberwell. As a local estate agent who has the support of a national network, we are ideally placed to provide you with all the help and guidance you need to make an informed decision, so please contact us today.