LETTINGS FEES BANNED
From 1stJune, 2019 radical changes banning tenant fees have been introduced by Government.
Previously, landlords and lettings agents were able to charge new tenants a range of fees including referencing, credit checks, set up and check out fees, often mounting to several hundreds of pounds.
Fees due now are restricted to rent and utilities, council tax as well as a refundable five week rent deposit and a single week holding deposit, again refundable (if the property has been left in a respectable condition when vacated).
Gill Smith, Residential Lettings Manger at Smith and Sons commented: “These changes have been under discussion and review for the past three years and have now been fully implemented. At Smith and Sons, our charges to the tenant where minimal at only £60 per new letting, however, we are aware that may other agents charged a far higher sum.”
She added: “Agents with high fees may well be looking to recoup their costs elsewhere so new tenants should scrutinise their tenancy agreements to ensure there are no hidden fees. These changes have a limited impact at Smiths as our fees where far lower compared to many others operating in our industry.”
Further changes are afoot and from June 2020, any tenancy which requires fees will not be considered legally binding therefore no payments are necessary.
Communities Secretary, James Brokenshire said: "Tenants will no longer be stung by unreasonable costs from agents or landlords, thanks to the implementation of the Tenant Fees Act.
"This act bans unnecessary letting fees and caps the majority of deposits at five weeks' rent – helping renters keep more of their hard-earned cash.”