Tenants get further protection against unfair letting fees
The government has continued its crackdown on unfair letting fees by announcing that tenants in the private rented sector will no longer be forced to pay excessive fees for minor damages,
The announcement is part of the Tenant Fees Bill and is a further measure to bring an end to costly fees imposed by a landlord or agent.
Under the new default fee provision, a landlord or agent will only be able to recover reasonable incurred costs and must provide evidence of these costs to the tenant before they can impose any charges.
Minsters say this will put a stop to abuses such as tenants being charged hundreds of pounds for a damaged item that only costs a few pounds to replace. In one example, a tenant was charged £60 to replace smoke alarms which the local council would have replaced for free.
Other provisions in the Bill include steps to ensure tenants get their money back quickly by reducing the timeframe in which landlords and agents must pay back any fees they have unlawfully charged.
The Bill is expected to save tenants around £240m a year. It also gives them assurance that the deposit they pay at the start of the tenancy cannot exceed six weeks’ rent.
Minister Rishi Sunak MP said: “Tenants across the country, whatever their income, should not be hit with unfair costs by agents or landlords. This new provision in the Tenant Fees Bill will make renting fairer and more transparent for all.”
Please contact Janice Young or Santokh Singh if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of commercial property law.