Landlords and their agents are no longer able to charge unlimited fees for tenancies signed on or after 1 June 2019.
Previously tenants were charged administration fees including tenancy renewal fees, referencing fees and credit check fees by landlords and letting agents. According to Citizens Advice, the average amount paid was £400.
But since 1 June 2019 landlords and their agents are no longer able to pass on these charges to tenants, although landlords are likely to increase rental charges to recover these expenses.
From 1 June 2019, the only costs landlords and agents are able to pass on to prospective tenants are:
- Utilities and council tax if included within the tenancy.
- A refundable deposit, capped at six weeks' rent (five weeks' rent for properties where the annual rent is less than £50,000).
- A refundable holding deposit to reserve the property, capped at one week's rent.
- Changes to the tenancy requested by the tenant, capped at £50 (or "reasonable costs").
- Early termination of the tenancy requested by the tenant.
- Defaults by the tenant, such as fines for late rent payments or lost keys. These must be "reasonable costs", with evidence given in writing by the landlord or agent.
Any other fees are not permitted and landlords or agents found charging fees unlawfully could be fined £5,000 for a first offence. If they break the rules again within five years, they could be given an unlimited fine and the breach will be classed as a criminal offence
Last updated March 2022