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Update from Meg: the Tenant Fees Act

Wednesday 12-06-2019 - 09:46
Meg

The time has come for many of you to begin moving into your houses for the next academic year, and for those of you who haven’t signed your contracts yet - some brand new legislation has come into effect just in time.

Remember the hundreds of pounds you used to have to spend on those nasty ‘admin fees’? Well, no longer! As of the 1st June (under the Tenant Fees Act 2019), for any tenancy agreement (contract) that is entered into after this date, your lettings agent or landlord will not be permitted to charge you any fees.

What does this mean in practice? There is a list of permitted payments (available here), which we’ve summarised below. These permitted payments cover:

  • rent
  • a refundable tenancy deposit (capped at five weeks’ rent)
  • a refundable holding deposit (capped at one week’s rent), payments to change the tenancy, capped at £50 or ‘reasonable costs incurred’ if a higher amount
  • payments associated with early termination of the tenancy agreement at the tenant’s request
  • payments associated with utilities, communication services, your TV license and council tax
  • a ‘default’ fee for paying your rent late
  • the cost of replacing a lost key or security device, where it’s required under the tenancy agreement

Any payment that your lettings agent or landlord asks for outside of this list is illegal, and the local Trading Standards office will want to know about it. If you think you might be in this situation, you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau’s Consumer Helpline to find out what to do next on 03454 04 05 05.

If you have any questions about the above, to know your rights before you sign, or if you need any advice about your housing situation, contact the Students’ Union’s Advice Service. Just click the ‘Get in touch’ button.

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Meg - Welfare and Liberation Officer

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