Good news for students renting in the private sector!
The changes mean that landlords and managing agents are no longer legally allowed to charge tenants for unnecessary fees, like ‘admin’ and referencing fees, and credit checks.
So, at most when you sign up, you’ll be paying:
- A holding deposit (capped at the cost of one week’s rent),
- Your refundable deposit (capped at the cost of 5 weeks’ rent),
and that’s it. It basically means you’ll know exactly what all of your payments are for, making the relationship between tenants and landlords more transparent and fair.
There are a couple of exceptions, however, but these are fees which may be charged if you break the tenancy agreement; these have to be included in the contract you sign at beginning, though, not implemented while the tenancy is in progress.
There’s a quick explanation of these exceptions below:
Late Rent Fees
Landlords or agents are able to charge you a fee if a rent payment is more than two weeks late. The amount is a small percentage of the amount you owe, so it is not a set fee. They’re not allowed to charge you for chasing the rent, though (for example sending letters etc).
Landlords and agents will still be able to charge you for a replacement set of keys if you lose your first ones. The fee cannot exceed the actual cost of the replacement, though, so the landlord must be able to provide proof that it’s cost the amount they’re charging you.
These new laws apply to any new or renewed tenancies signed on or after 1st June 2019, and any landlords or agents found charging fees could be fined £5,000 for a first offence.
For further information on the ban and a more detailed list of banned fees, take a look at the RLA website here.