Tenant Fee Ban
The Government confirmed this afternoon that the Tenant Fees Bill will come into force on June 1 this year. Although tenants may be rejoicing at this stage, it’s no matter to celebrate. For letting agents to survive the ban, they will be increasing Landlord fees which in turn will mean Landlords will put rents up. If rents increase by 5% like they did when this ban was brought in, in Scotland, on an average rent this will be an increase of £40 per calendar month. Costing a tenant £480 per annum, which is considerably more than the average tenant fee.
The announcement was made by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, the Government’s housing spokesperson in the House of Lords during the Bill’s Third Reading.
He said: “It has been clear throughout that this is a Bill that will introduce important changes for the private rented sector.
“It is in all our interest to introduce this introduction as soon as possible.
“Implementation is subject to the parliamentary timetables and amendments need to be considered in the other place (the House of Commons.)
“We need to enable agents and landlords following Royal Assent to become compliant but we intend for the provisions to come into force on June 1st 2019.
“This would mean the ban on lettings fees would apply to all tenancies signed after this date.”
Lord Bourne also introduced an amendment – backed by peers – that would let enforcement authorities set a date for when interest could be paid from holding deposits that had not been returned in a required period. This would apply to interest earned up to a day before the required period, he said.
Peers backed the Bill, which passed its Third Reading, and praised the work of everyone who worked on it.
Lord Kennedy said the Bill “leaves this House in a better position than when it arrived.”
Baroness Grender welcomed the Bill and said she was looking forward to the Government releasing guidance on how landlords and lettings agents could charge for damages.
Responding on this, Lord Bourne said allowing landlords to charge for damages “wouldn’t be a back door to default fees.”
He added that there is plenty of case law that damages are not meant to do anything more than put an innocent party back to their original place.