If proposed legislation runs its course, with effect from the 1st of June this year, landlords will be able to charge a limited and strictly defined range of fees to their tenants.
The limitations on fees and charges – apart from rent - which landlords may demand in payment from tenants are explained in an article posted on the website of the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) on the 16th of January 2019 and are as follows:
- a deposit may be charged – to cover damage and breakages – but the amount is limited to a maximum of five weeks’ rent for any property where the annual rent is less than £50,000;
- stricter conditions are also introduced on the safe-keeping of deposits taken by landlords and held under the Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme;
- landlords may also charge tenants for the loss of keys to the property – but the amount charged is limited to the actual cost of replacing those keys and any reasonable associated costs (excluding any charge for the inconvenience caused or your time in arranging the replacement of keys);
- landlords may also impose a penalty charge for the late payment of rent, although the maximum rates are small – 3% above the Bank of England base rate;
- tenants may be charged a sum in the region of £50 for any change they request in the terms of the tenancy agreement.
Those landlords who exceed the proposed new limitations on tenants’ fees stand to face significant financial penalties, warns the RLA.