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Tenant fees ban

A few days ago we had a usual call from a potential tenant trying to arrange a viewing for one of our properties.

After going through all the usual questions, I had a very surprising question from his side: 'How much does it cost me to see the flat and how much are the tenants fees ?' , surprised I have replied 'Nothing, the tenant fees were banned from 1 June 2019'.

The potential tenant explained to us how some unscrupulous agents charged him only for showing properties, very pleased he proceeded and booked the viewing with us and not surprisingly we are having him as a tenant.

The Tenants Fees Act came into force in England from 1 June 2019. This act bans and regulates the fees for the tenants we as estate agents used to charge.

The only costs tenants can be asked to pay from June 1, are as follows:

- The rent: As stated in the tenancy agreement.

- A refundable tenancy deposit: This will be capped at five weeks’ rent where the annual rent is below £50,000. Where the annual rent is above £50,000, the cap is set at six weeks' rent.

- A refundable holding deposit: Sometimes required to reserve a property, this will be capped at one week's rent. It can be retained for a maximum of 14 days before entering into an agreement.

- Bills: Any cost associated with the running of the home, ranging from broadband and council tax to energy.

- Changes to the contract mid-tenancy: If requested by the tenant, these will be capped at £50.

- Late rent fee: Interest can be charged at no more than 3% above the Bank of England's base rate for each day the payment remains outstanding, and only after 14 days.

- Repairs: These should be charged at a 'reasonable cost' and evidence should be provided for the cost of repairs and replacement, duringor at the end of a tenancy agreement.