posted on 28 Mar 2019 by Jayde

The Tenant Fees Act 2019

Blog | Lettings | The Tenant Fees Act 2019

Great news for tenants

From the 1st June 2019, agents are no longer allowed to charge new applicants and new tenants any fees that relate to securing a tenancy, extending a tenancy or ending a tenancy.

In a nutshell, this means no credit check fees, no Right-to-Rent fees, no fees for checking references, no extension fees if the tenant decides to stay for an additional fixed term, and no check-out fees. There are a bunch of reasons why you may or may not comply for all of the benefits, so if you need to ask questions, please book in to talk to us.

Also covered by the new Act is a cap of only 5 weeks on any cash deposits taken and secured against a tenancy, which sounds great, but even better is the fact that many agents will offer a cash-free alternative! More about this below.

All new and renewed fixed term tenancies will come under the scope of the new ban, but a periodic (month to month, or quarter to quarter) extension will not be covered by the Act until June 2020. All existing tenancies (whether fixed term or running periodic) will also be brought under the new rules from 1 June 2020.

Alternative deposit schemes

As the deposits are now also capped at 5 weeks, many landlord are feeling (understandably) a little nervous that their protection is being reduced, but there’s a really good solution for both sides!

The new schemes are linked to insurance policies, which mean that new tenants won’t need to lock up 5 weeks of their hard-earned cash. The policies also offer the landlord greater comfort with an average of 8 weeks protection, so everyone wins!

A warning!

This legislation is only aimed at tenancies under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. It does not cover Corporate lets, nor does it cover tenants who are renting a second home in the city and this doesn’t serve as their main residential address; both of these utilise a different form of tenancy agreement.

When using an alternative deposit scheme, you will pay for the deposit policy (costs around 1 week’s rent, rather than the 5 weeks we would normally charge) – this 1 week’s charge is non-refundable. You will also still have to pay all of your rent and any fair damage costs.

& finally

The Tenant Fee Act 2018 (it’s full official title) is fairly long (and dull) and covers a lot of different areas of tenant life. The facts above are some of the key issues, but there are other items that are less newsworthy but just as important. FleetMilne have read and re-read the Act and we’re up to speed and ready for the legislation (as if you expected anything else!) so that our tenants will derive full benefit from the changes.

If you are renting from another agency in Birmingham city centre, and they are not filling you with reassurance or information, then please come and talk to us. We’re always happy to help.

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