New Forest

Tenant fees ban set to cost landlords £82.9m

A new ban on tenant fees could push costs of more than £80 million onto landlords, government figures have shown.

The tenant fees bill, which was published on 2 May 2018, includes a ban on all fees charged to tenants apart from rent, deposits, and certain necessary costs.

A government impact assessment confirms that “the main costs fall on landlords and letting agents” as a result of the changes, with landlords expected to absorb £82.9 million in the first year.

Letting agents also face a greater cost, estimated at £157.1 million for the same period of time.

Aside from rent and deposits, landlords and letting agents will only be able to charge tenants for:

  • a change or early termination of a tenancy when requested by the tenant
  • utilities, communication services and council tax
  • a default by the tenant, such as replacing a lost key

As well as banning fees, the bill will introduce a cap on holding deposits of up to one week’s rent, and security deposits at no more than six weeks’ rent.

Fees for a change to the tenancy will also be capped at £50, unless the landlord can prove the change incurred greater costs.

Those in breach of the ban could face a fine of £5,000 for a first offence, with further offences within five years resulting in either penalties of up to £30,000 or prosecution.

The new rules are due to come into force next year as the measures pass through parliament.

For further information on the tenant fees ban, please contact Arthur Bell on 023 8046 1258.

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