The Tenant Fees Bill has now passed its final reading at the House of Commons, meaning that it will soon gain Royal Assent and become an Act of Parliament.
The ban on fees charged by landlords and letting agents will be introduced on 1st June 2019 from when Chancellor of the Exchequer. Philip Hammond, has made clear that he expects all Landlords to cover these costs. We have been aware that this has been coming for some time and there is similar legislation already in place in Scotland. The ban means that neither a landlord nor an agent will be able to charge a tenant for references, tenancy agreements or any other administration. The deposit taken and held against damages and/or unpaid rent will also now be limited to the equivalent of a maximum of 6 week's rent and deposits taken will still need to be registered with one of the government approved schemes.
It will not be possible to increase the deposit regardless of the tenant's situation such as owning a pet or if there is a concern about ability to pay. The media are predicting that landlords will pass on any increased costs (such as having to pay for the inventory check in and check out) to tenants via increased rents so that letting their properties continues to be viable. However, this could have consequences for tenants with longer term tenancies who would end up paying more whilst proving advantageous to those tenants who wish to move more regularly.
Northfields is a family run company and will always remain fair and transparent with its charges and costs. These are listed in our branches and can be found on our website here.
The legislation surrounding lettings is changing so if you are not up to date with the requirement for HMO licenses in the local area, or if you need more information about the upcoming Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 or just want to chat further about any aspect of lettings please do contact one of our lettings team.