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Tenants Guide to the Tenant Fees Act 2019

The law on tenant fees is changing. Do you know what fees a landlord or agent can ask you to pay?

A landlord or agent cannot require you (or anyone acting on your behalf or guaranteeing your rent) to make certain payments in connection with a tenancy in England.  If they do, they can be fined up to £5000 and you can also claim compensation.

They cannot make you to enter a contract with a third party for the provision for a service or for insurance or make a loan in connection with a tenancy.  The only payments in connection with a tenancy that you can be asked to make are:

• the rent

• a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where your total annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where your 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 in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and

• A default fee for late payment of rent and 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 you to pay it.

A landlord cannot evict you using the section 21 eviction procedure until they have 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.

You can read the full guidance and details published under Crown Copyright below.

Download the Tenant Fees Act 2019: Guidance for tenants