When does the ban apply?
It depends on when you entered into a tenancy agreement. The ban is being introduced in two stages.
- From 1June 2019, if you enter into a tenancy agreement, student let or licence to occupy housing in the private rented sector, a landlord or agent will be prohibited from charging you any fees or other payments that are not included in the list of permitted payments above.
Landlords will be responsible for the costs associated with setting up, renewing or ending a tenancy (e.g. referencing, administration, inventory, renewal and check-out fees). Agents and landlords do not have to pay back any fees that they have charged you before 1 June 2019. You should challenge a landlord or agent if you think they are charging an unlawful fee.
If you entered into a tenancy before 1 June 2019, a landlord or agent will still be able to charge fees up until 31 May 2020, but only where these are required under an existing tenancy agreement. This might include, for example, fees to renew a fixed-term agreement where you had already agreed to pay these. Nonetheless, businesses such as letting agents are prohibited from setting unfair terms or fees under existing consumer protection legislation. If you consider the level of fees being charged to be unfair, you should discuss this with your landlord or agent.
- From 1June 2020, the ban on fees will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies, tenancies of student accommodation and licences to occupy housing in the private rented sector in England. Landlords and agents will not be able to charge any fees after this date (apart from those payments which are excluded from the ban – see above).
I’ve already entered into a tenancy, what does this mean for me?
If a landlord or agent requires you to make a payment under a term within a tenancy which was entered into before the ban came into force, such as check-out or renewal fees, they can continue charging those fees until 31 May 2020.
After1 June 2020, the term requiring that payment will no longer be binding. Should you, in error, make such a payment, you should ask the landlord or agent to return the payment immediately. The payment must be returned within 28 days. If they do not return the payment within 28 days, then they will be treated for the purposes of the Act as having required you to make a prohibited payment (a payment that is outlawed under the ban).
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Does the ban apply to me?
The ban applies to all assured shorthold tenancies, tenancies of student accommodation and licences to occupy housing in the private rented sector in England. Most tenancies in the private rented sector are assured shorthold tenancies.
In this guidance ‘tenant’ includes licensees. ‘Relevant persons’ are any persons acting on behalf of a tenant or licensee or guaranteeing the rent
You can use this tenancy checker to find out which tenancy you have.
Please note: certain licences to occupy are excluded from the Tenant Fees Act 2019, such as those granted under Homeshare arrangements (provided that the necessary conditions apply).
Local housing authorities, the Greater London Authority or a person or organisation acting on their behalf are excluded from the definition of relevant person under the Act and can continue to make payments in connection with a tenancy when acting on behalf of a tenant or guaranteeing their rent.