What is the Tenant Fees Act 2019?

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The Tenant Fees Act 2019 applies to new or renewed tenancy agreements signed on or after 1 June 2019 and bans certain payments a tenant, licence, guarantor or anyone acting on their behalf can make in connection with a tenancy. The act also limits how much a tenant can pay for a tenancy deposit, holding deposit and for changes to the tenancy.

Which payments are permitted under the Tenant Fees Act 2019?

The only payments that can be charged in connection with a tenancy are:

  1. the rent
  2. a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where the total annual rent is £50,000 or above
  3. a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week’s rent
  4. payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
  5. payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
  6. payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and
  7. A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement

What happens if you charge a payment not on the list?

Any payment not on this list is prohibited under the ban and must be repaid. A section 21 eviction procedure can't be initiated until the unlawful charged payments have been returned.

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Who does the ban apply to?

As of 1 June 2020, the ban applies to all assured shorthold tenancies, tenancies of student accommodation and licences to occupy housing in the private rented sector in England, regardless of when they were entered into. The Tenant Fees Act 2019 does not apply to licences granted under Homeshare arrangements provided that the necessary conditions apply.

How do I make sure my tenancy agreement is compliant with the Tenant Fees Act 2019?

Tenancy laws are regularly updated so it is important your agreements don't contain illegal clauses. Whilst it might be tempting to download a contract template online, it is safer and cheaper to create and manage your tenancy agreements and related documents in one place using an online platform like Legislate.

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