Landlords are limited to what fees they can charge for tenancies and licences that are privately rented. The Tenant Fees Act prohibits landlords from charging fees, accept those that are listed in the legislation (a permitted payment), and limits the amount a landlord can ask as a tenancy deposit.
From 1 June 2020 the ban on fees applies to all tenancies and licenses regardless of the date the agreement was entered into.
Any term requiring a payment, that is not permitted, is no longer binding. If a landlord has required, in error, a payment, the landlord must return the payment immediately. If you do not return the payment within 28 days, you will be treated for the purposes of the Act as having required the tenant to make a prohibited payment (a payment that is outlawed under the ban).
You do not need to return any amount of tenancy deposit that is over the cap for tenancy agreements that were entered into before the Tenant Fees Act came into force. For more information on this, please see guidance.
The only payments you can be requested to pay after the relevant dates are:
- The Rent
- A refundable tenancy deposit which is capped at no more than five weeks rent where your total annual rent is less that £50,000 or above. The deposit must be held within a tenancy deposit protection scheme.
- A refundable holding deposit ( to reserve the property) capped at no more than one weeks rent
- Payments to change the tenancy but only when requested by the tenant which is capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
- Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, only when requested by the tenant
- Payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV license and Council Tax
- A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the house, where required under a tenancy agreement
For each breach a financial penalty limited of £5000 can be issued upon the party who was in receipt of the original fee, multiple penalties can be issued simultaneously for multiple breaches. If a landlord or agent breaches the ban again they will be liable for a financial penalty of up to £30,000 or prosecution.
For assistance in regards to enforcement action against a landlord or agent for any of the above breaches please contact:
Northamptonshire County Council
Trading Standards Service
Wootton Hall Park
tel: Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06
fax: 01604 362425
web: Northamptonshire County Council Trading Standards