If you enter into a tenancy agreement, student let or licence to occupy housing in the private rented sector in England as of 1st June 2019, new government legislation called the Tenant Fees Act will come into force.
Landlords will be responsible for the costs associated with setting up, renewing or ending a tenancy (i.e. referencing, administration, inventory, renewal and check-out fees). Agents and landlords do not have to pay back any fees that have been charged to a tenant before 1 June 2019.
This means that our fee structure will change (effective 1st June 2019)
Referencing Fees: £0
Holding deposit to secure a property: Equivalent to 1 weeks' rent
Security deposit prior to moving in: A maximum of 5 weeks' rent
Changes to an existing tenancy agreement: £50 inc VAT (higher fees may be charged in the unlikely event that reasonable expenses are incurred)
Please read this page for more relevant information:
The only payments we charge in connection with a tenancy are:
a) the rent
b) 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
c) a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week's rent. The holding deposit does not need to be protected in a tenancy deposit protection scheme. However, we will take steps to ensure that the money is held safely and can be refunded to the tenant when necessary
d) payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant, capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher. These include:
· pets to be kept in the property
· a change of sharer in a joint tenancy
· permission to sub-let
· a business to be run from the property
· or any other amendment which alters the obligations of the agreement
e) payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
f) payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and
g) A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device, where required under a tenancy agreement
Though we will no longer be charging tenants for referencing, we are permitted to ask a tenant to provide information which supports us to carry out a reference check, such as:
· proof of ID: passport or any other official form of ID
· proof of residence: recent bank statements, utility bills or voter registration confirmation or council tax statements
· credit check: you can ask a tenant for any information required in order to carry out a credit check - you should explain the credit worthiness requirements and ask the tenant to disclose any relevant information
· proof of income: recent bank statements, employer contact details, signed contract of employment or a letter from a tenant's employer
If a tenant fails to provide the necessary information in good time, and we can demonstrate that we have given sufficient notice to provide this, we will be entitled to retain the holding deposit. We will provide reasons in writing to the tenant to explain why we have retained their holding deposit should this occur.
If a tenant changes their mind and decides to withdraw after paying a holding deposit, and they notify us of this before the 'deadline for agreement' has passed (usually a maximum of two weeks after the holding deposit is paid), we are entitled to retain the holding deposit. Even if a tenant does not notify us of their decision to withdraw, we are still entitled to retain the holding deposit if they have not taken reasonable steps to enter into the tenancy before that date (i.e. providing reasonable information required to progress the tenancy) and we have taken all reasonable steps
Right to rent checks
We must check the immigration status of anyone aged 18 or over who'll be living in the property before a tenancy is agreed. This is known as a 'right to rent check'. We can ask to see a tenant's passport or other official documents that prove their immigration status. We are required to take copies of the documents and keep them safe.
If a tenant fails a right to rent check or does not provide us with the necessary evidence required to complete the check, we can retain their holding deposit. We will explain to the tenant in writing that we are retaining their holding deposit because they have failed a right to rent check.
Late Payment of Rent
A default fee can be charged for late payment of rent but only where the rent payment has been outstanding for 14 days or more (from the date set out in the tenancy agreement)
Any fee charged will be no more than 3% above the Bank of England's base rate for each day that the payment has been outstanding.
How do to calculate the maximum amount of interest that can be charged on a late rent payment:
1. Work out the yearly interest: take the amount of rent that is owed by the tenant and multiply it by the Bank of England's base rate + 3%.
2. Work out the daily interest: divide your yearly interest from step 1 by 365 (the number of days in a year).
3. Work out the total amount of interest: multiply the daily interest from step 2 by the number of days that the rent has been overdue.
For this example, we are assuming that the Bank of England's (BoE) base rate is 3%:
As any interest charged must not exceed the BoE's base rate +3%, the total interest that could be charged would be: (BoE base rate at 3%) +3% = 6%.
If a tenant owed the landlord or agent £500:
1. the annual interest would be £80 (500 x 0.06 = 30)
2. you'd divide £30 by 365 to get the daily interest: about 8p a day (30 / 365 = 0.08)
3. after 30 days this would be £2.40 (30 x 0.08 = 2.4)
A default fee will be charged for a lost key or equivalent security device. We will provide evidence in writing to the person liable for the payment to demonstrate that the costs they have incurred are reasonable.
Claims against your deposit:
In most cases, we will recover claims for damages through the tenancy deposit at the end of the tenancy, where independent arbitration will be available through the relevant tenancy deposit protection scheme.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) arrangements provided by the tenancy deposit protection schemes are designed to make disagreements over the repayment of the deposit faster and cheaper to resolve than going to court. Where both the landlord and tenant agree to using the ADR service the case will be handled by an independent, impartial and qualified adjudicator, and a decision will be made on the basis of the evidence provided.
For more information, please search for the Government's Guidance for Tenants page