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Royal assent has now been given to the Tenant Fees Bill that bans agents and landlords from charging certain fees to tenants.
The act given royal assent means that from 1 June 2019, landlords and agents will no longer be able to charge fees to set up or renew a tenancy in the private rented sector.
In addition to a ban on lettings fees, there will also be a cap on the amount of refundable security deposit a tenant would be required to pay to the value of ‘five weeks’.
A cap on the amount of holding deposit a tenant will be required to put down to secure a property will also be capped to the value of one week’s rent.
The government believes that the Bill receiving royal assent will make renting properties in England fairer and more affordable for tenants by reducing the costs at the outset of a tenancy, at the same time as improving transparency and competition in the private rental market.
Under the terms of the new Act, the maximum amount that can be charged for a change to a tenancy will be £50. Any landlord breaching the ban for the first time could be hit with a £5,000 fine.
James Brokenshire, Housing and Communities Secretary for the government, said: ‘Tenants across the country should not be stung by unexpected costs from agents or landlords.’
He continued: ‘This Act not only delivers on our promise to ban letting fees but also caps deposits at 5 weeks’ rent and sets out how and when landlords can charge tenants fees – helping renters keep more of their hard-earned cash. This is part of our ongoing action to make renting fairer and more transparent and make a housing market that works for everyone.’
Chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, David Cox, commented: ‘We’ve known the tenant fees ban has been coming for a long time, but with only 109 days to go until it comes into force, the industry must start taking time to prepare.
‘The government will soon publish its guidance now that we have legislative certainty, which will give agents a better understanding as to how the ban should practically be implemented.’