Residential tenancies – Extension of the tenant fees act

With so many changes taking place at the current time, it is easy to miss the extension of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (“the Act”).  This Act came into effect last year in respect of most residential tenancies entered into in England from the 1 June 2019.  At that time, the Act did not apply to tenancies pre-dating 1 June 2019.

From 1 June 2020, the Act now applies to most existing residential tenancies in England, regardless of when they commenced.  Our briefing note prepared last year entitled ‘The Tenant Fees Act 2019 – Ban on letting fees begins‘ provides some initial guidance of the changes introduced by the Act in respect of permitted payments, but it is important to remember that whilst there are permitted payments, there are also prohibited payments as well.

In addition, the Act also limits the amount of security deposit that can be held by landlords.

Landlords and managing agents should consider checking their residential assured shorthold tenancies and licences to make sure they are not now in breach of the Act by seeking to charge prohibited fees.

If a prohibited fee is charged and not returned within the specified period of time, then the landlord or managing agent may be prevented from serving the Section 21 Notice and face a fine.

If you require assistance in reviewing your residential tenancies, please contact a member of our Dispute Prevention & Resolution team.

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