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Important changes

Residential Landlords & Tenants

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 came in to force on 1st June 2019

All tenancies created after that date will be subject to its provisions. The effect of the Act is to ban a range of fees that could previously have been charged by landlords to tenants and to restrict the amount of deposits that can be held (including the amount of a holding deposit that can be taken).

A breach of the legislation will usually be a civil offence with a financial penalty of up to £5,000. If a prohibited fee has been taken, then a landlord will not be able to pursue Section 21 proceedings until the fee has been repaid.

Even for existing and renewing tenancies, prohibited fees can no longer be taken after 30th May 2020.

The deposit protection legislation continues to apply to rental deposits and holding deposits.

Landlords and agents should review their existing policies for property lettings and management and should also review any standard form tenancy agreements to ensure that they will comply with the new rules.

The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government has produced guidance on the Act which is recommended reading https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tenant-fees-act-2019-guidance

By Bruce Leyland
Partner, Taunton Solicitors

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