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Tenant fees to be banned from June

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Unfair tenant fees in the private rented sector are to be banned from the summer.

The government’s housing minister, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, announced that the Tenant Fees Bill will come into force in June during the Third Reading of the bill in the House of Lords yesterday.

He said: “It has been clear throughout that this is a Bill that we all support, and one that will deliver important changes to the private rented sector, improving lives for millions of tenants.

“We intend for the provisions of this Bill to come into force on 1 June 2019. This would mean that the ban on letting fees would apply to all new tenancies signed on or after this date.”

What will be banned?

The aim of the Bill is to reduce the costs that tenants can face at the outset, and throughout, a tenancy.

It will stop letting agents from exploiting their position as intermediaries between landlords and tenants, and prevent unfair practices such as double charging for the same services.

Banning letting fees will save tenants around £240m a year, according to government figures.

Under the new rules, tenants will only be legally obliged to pay their rent as well as any charges for replacement keys or a respective security device, utilities and council tax and late rent payments.

Deposits paid at the start of a tenancy will also be capped at five weeks’ rent.

Anyone caught breaching the ban on letting agent fees will be subject to a £5,000 fine.