Are you up to speed on the prohibited payments under the Tenant Fees Act 2019?
If you are a landlord or a lettings agent and you let property through assured shorthold tenancy agreements (“ASTs”) to tenants (including students), you need to be aware of new legislation that came into effect on 19th June 2019.
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 (“TFA 2019”) prohibits the following payments from being added to a tenancy agreement:
• Tenancy set-up fees
• Credit check fees
• Viewing fees
• Inventory checks
• Check-out fees
In addition, a cap has been put on tenancy deposits.
If the rent is under £50,000 per annum, deposits need to be capped at five weeks’ annual rent under the tenancy agreement or at 6 weeks if the annual rent is over £50,000.
There is now a cap on holding deposits (which are paid prior to entering into a tenancy agreement) of one weeks’ annual rent. Furthermore, the TFA 2019 stipulates that any holding deposits paid must be repaid within certain timescales, timescales that’ll be set depending on the situation.
You also need to be aware that if you breach any of the prohibitions, repayment obligations or deposit requirements you could be fined up to £5,000 (or more if the enforcement agency also demands repayment of the payment and/or holding deposit not to mention interest). That figure could rise significantly if you re-offend within five years of the initial penalty.
As a landlord the other key issue to note is that the procedure for terminating an AST so that you can take possession of the property cannot be implemented if you have breached any of the new regulations.
If you would like to know more information on this matter, and to ensure that you comply with the new legislation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Louise Ward on 0114 290 6344.