People living in rented accommodation will no longer have to pay letting agent fees as the Tenant Fees Act came into force on 1st June 2019. The ban means renters cannot be charged fees for looking around a property or for things such as, referencing, credit checks, or for check-out.
Citizens Advice has been calling for a ban on fees for a decade, and worked with Parliamentarians across the political spectrum to make sure the Bill was as watertight as possible. This included closing a “default fees” loophole that could have led to landlords and agents charging fees through the backdoor by adding unfair terms to tenancy agreements.
Citizens Advicealso urged legislators to reduce the amount of money required for a deposit from six weeks’ rent to four weeks. The final Bill compromised on a deposit worth five weeks’ rent.
Janie Moor. Chief Officer, Citizens Advice South Hams said, “Since the government committed to banning letting fees in November 2017, private renters in England have been paying £13 million a month in letting fees, a total of £234 million. The end of these uncompetitive and unfair letting fees is a real win for renters. The new law means families and other renters don’t have to hand over hundreds of pounds every time they move home.”
In England, more than one in three (37%) of households in the private rented sector are families with dependent children. In the South Hams, the Citizens Advice service helped more than 550 people with housing problems in the past 12 months, 38% of whom were living in the private rented sector.