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New UK law to protect tenants from unfair letting fees

6th June 2019

London street with a view of the city

The government aim to make the housing market fairer for everyone with a new UK law preventing landlords and agents from continuing to charge tenants unnecessary fees. The Tenant Fees Act was passed in February this year and came into force on 1st June 2019.

The new Act will save renters across England an impressive £240 million a year, or up to £70 per household. As part of the new law, tenancy deposits will now be capped at 5 weeks’ rent, after the government acknowledged that high deposits were an obstacle for affordable housing. The Act also prevents unexpected admin or renewal fees and, in addition, landlords and agents will now have to provide evidence of costs for lost keys or other security devices, in an strive to avoid unfair and inaccurate overcharging.

The Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP comments, as reported on GOV.UK: “This Act bans unnecessary letting fees and caps the majority of deposits at 5 weeks’ rent – helping renters keep more of their hard-earned cash. Alongside our recent announcement to scrap no-fault evictions in the sector, this will make renting fairer and more transparent – creating a housing market that works for everyone.”

Tenants who have been unfairly charged will be refunded their money back. Landlords will also be under scrutiny when they evict tenants as the government want to stop private landlords doing so at short notice or without good reason.

Overall, the Tenant Fees Act strives to build a fairer relationship between landlords and tenants as well as taking a step towards a more affordable private rental market. The government have also proposed that independent regulators should set the new standards to agents and oversee any activities. They are also considering launching a court specialising in housing, that’ll be used for property disputes between landlords and tenants.

If you would like to part of the changes that are happening in UK law, a legal job is well suited for you. Browse our job opportunities online today and find a career where you can help facilitate change.