Tenancy Charges Warning for Housing Landlords

Published Friday, 12 July 2019

Housing landlords in Ribble Valley who fall foul of new rules on tenancy charges face hefty fines.

From 1 June, the only payments landlords can charge other than rent are:

  • A refundable tenancy deposit capped at 5 weeks’ rent, where the annual rent is less than £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent if it is more than £50,000
  • A refundable holding deposit to reserve a property capped at one week’s rent
  • Charges to change the tenancy requested by the tenant capped at £50
  • Early tenancy termination payments, when termination is requested by the tenant
  • Charges for utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax
  • A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key or security device, where required under the tenancy agreement

Any fees not on this list, or forcing tenants to take loans in connection with the tenancy, are prohibited.

And breaches could land you with a hefty fine – between £5,000 and £30,000 the first time and an unlimited amount for repeat offences.

Rachael Stott, Ribble Valley Borough Council’s housing strategy officer, said: “These changes will make private renting more accessible and ensure fair tenancy charges, which is better for tenants and offers greater clarity for landlords.”

If the tenancy agreement was entered into before 1 June, landlords are still able to charge fees until 31 May, 2020, but only if they are required under an existing agreement.

And landlords cannot evict a tenant until they have repaid any unlawfully charged fees, or returned a retained holding deposit.

 

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