Letting fees banned in England – your new rights
What are the new letting fees rules in England?
Prior to 1 June, landlords and letting agents could charge tenants who took out a new tenancy a range of fees, including tenancy set-up and check-out fees, referencing fees and credit check fees.
But from 1 June, landlords and their agents can no longer charge any of these fees. The only costs they can pass on to you if you’re a tenant are:
Utilities and council tax if included within the tenancy.
A refundable deposit capped at five weeks’ rent if your annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent if annual rent is more than this.
A refundable holding deposit to reserve the property, capped at one week’s rent.
Changes to the tenancy requested by the tenant, capped at £50 (or “reasonable costs”, backed up by written evidence from the landlord or agent).
Early termination of the tenancy requested by the tenant.
Defaults by the tenant, such as fines for late rent payments or lost keys. Fines for lost keys must be “reasonable costs”, with evidence given in writing by the landlord or agent (you don’t have to pay the fee until you’ve received this evidence).Fines for late rent payments are capped at an annual percentage rate of 3% above the Bank of England base rate (so right now, that’s 3.75%), calculated based on the number of days the payment has been outstanding. They can be charged once a payment’s been outstanding for 14 days. So for example, if you owe a late rent payment of £1,000 that’s been outstanding for 40 days, you could be charged up to £4.11.
Any other fees are banned, and landlords or agents found charging the fees could be fined £5,000 for a first offence. If they break the rules again within five years, they could be given an unlimited fine.