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Landlords and the Tenant Fees Ban

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Wed 31 Oct 2018

Landlords and the Tenant Fees Ban

TENANT FEES BAN FOR LANDLORDS & LETTING AGENTS

Callaways, as many of our fellow Lettings Agents and Landlords in the UK, are disappointed but unsurprised that the Tenant Fees Bill has passed the House of Commons, and now moves onto the House of Lords.
The Tenant Fees Ban also includes a provision for security deposits to be capped, and we await further details.

The charging of tenant fees was banned in Scotland in 2012, the Welsh Government is now also seeking to ban fees in Wales, and the UK Government has effectively banned them from 2019.

Increased rents …

There will, no doubt, be unintended consequences of the tenant fees ban, such as higher rents (by more than the average fees currently charged to tenants on move-in).  Scotland has seen unprecedented rent rises, claimed to be as high as 18% by some data sources.

Increased legislation …

Lettings Agents have a responsibility, wherever possible, to ensure that they, and most importantly their Landlord clients, remain compliant at all times with some 150 pieces of legislation which apply to the Private Rented Sector (PRS). 

With the Tenant Fees Ban, combined with ever-increasing scrutiny of the PRS from both Government and other campaigning bodies, and particularly those on behalf of Tenants, the role of a Lettings Agent offering Property Management has never been more challenging.

Some Letting Agents currently recover from tenants administration fees to cover the costs involved in providing various services associated with the Tenancy eg 
 
  • Right to Rent and ID Checks
  • Preparation of Tenancy Agreements
  • Guarantor documents
  • Referencing Fees 
  • Renewal Fees
  • Inventories / check outs / Schedules of Condition

Increased compliance …

The Tenant Fees Ban comes at a time when the Government has been placing ever increasing burdens on Agents and Landlords with levels of compliance and legislation, eg
  • The Deregulation Act
  • EPCs (now Grade E or above)
  • Smoke alarms testing
  • Serving the ‘How to… Rent’ guide
  • Threat of the removal of the option to use Section 21 
  • Criminalisation of the Immigration Act
  • Landlord’s additional safety requirements eg Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) and EICR
  • Landlord Taxation Clause 24 etc…
Are you prepared?  If we can help in any way with letting or managing your property, call 01273-735237