Much to the delight of tenants across England, it was announced on Saturday that under the Tenants Fee Act renters will now no longer be faced with additional and unnecessary letting fees when moving house or renewing a tenancy.
The enactment comes after Chancellor Philip Hammond’s original announcement to scrap the fees, with the delay owing to vigorous disputation of the Act’s rules amongst Members of Parliament.
Previously, renters were faced with exorbitant upfront costs when looking to rent a property, having to pay additional administrative fees for viewings, inventory and credit checks, and references. These fees would often amount to £200-300, on top of the additional costs in place for security deposits and advance rent payments. Under the new Act, tenants will now save approximately £240 million nationwide, with landlords and estate agents being obliged to offset the costs instead.
Moreover, additional rules have been implemented to cap house deposits at five-weeks rent for properties listed as less than £50,000 annual rent.
The Act is just one of the many improvements the government is seeking to make within the rental market, as it strives to create a fairer and more balanced relationship between landlords and their tenants.
Local MP Caroline Dinenage welcomed the news:
“With more people in England renting than ever before, it is essential that tenants are in a stable position to rent a property without having the additional burden of extortionate administrative costs. I am delighted to hear that The Tenants Fee Act has been passed, as the already taxing process of renting a property will now become instantly more accessible and straightforward for my constituents.”
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said:
“From today, tenants will no longer be stung by unreasonable costs from agents or landlords, thanks to the implementation of the Tenant Fees Act. This Act bans unnecessary letting fees and caps the majority of deposits at 5 weeks’ rent – helping renters keep more of their hard-earned cash. Alongside our recent announcement to scrap no fault evictions in the sector, this will make renting fairer and more transparent – creating a housing market that works for everyone.”