Further to our guidance on the new provisions that came into force in October 2015 regarding Section 21 notices there has been a further update...
From 1 June 2019 private landlords will not be able to charge tenants for anything other than rent, deposits, utilities, fees for early termination, default of contract, lost keys or late payment of rent.
If the charges are not included in the above list, they will be a prohibited payment. Common charges which are no longer permitted are:
- Third-party referencing fees
- Credit check fees
- Fees for carrying out an inventory
- Agents’ fees
- Fees for cleaning and gardening at the end of the tenancy
- Additional charges for including furniture
- Additional charges for allowing pets at the property
If you do charge any of these fees you would be in breach of the act and enforcement action may be taken upon. Local Trading Standards could issue a fine of up to £5,000 if this is the first offence and any further illegal charges will be a criminal offence and they may result in fines of up to £30,000.
Local authorities also have special powers to deal with serious repeat offenders such as banning the landlord from letting houses, applying for landlords to pay up to 12 months rent back to the tenant and further orders allowing local authorities to take possession of the property and collect rent.
For the full government guidance please click here.
For further advice on this issue please contact our Property Disputes Team