New Bill Introduces More Safeguards For Tenants

On 2 May 2018 the Tenant Fees Bill was introduced into Parliament. This Bill seeks to bring about an end to letting fees and to save tenants around £240 million a year. It will also clarify for prospective tenants the fees that will be payable at the commencement of a tenancy.

The Government believe that the introduction of the Bill will increase competition between agents and landlords. In turn, this should lower costs overall and increase the level of service provided to attendance.

Aspects of the Bill will seek to:

  • Limit deposit payments to be no more than 6 weeks’ rent;
  • Ensure that holding deposits are limited to no more than one weeks rent;
  • Provide a procedure for the return of the deposit to the tenants at the end of the tenancy;
  • Restrict the costs charged by letting agents to £50 for a tenant to change the tenancy;
  • Prevent landlords from recovering possession of their property under the procedure set out in Section 21 of the Housing act 1988 (as amended) until they have returned to the tenant any unlawfully charged fees; and
  • Enable and appoint a “lead enforcement authority” in the sector to monitor letting agencies.

The proposals set out in the Bill relate properties in England only and there are other aspects of property letting that the Bill covers.

We shall however be keeping an eye on this proposed legislation as it passes through the stages of Parliament and shall endeavour to keep you updated. In the meantime, a  PDF version draft of the Bill can be viewed on the Government website.

BRM have a specialist team dealing with residential tenancies. For more information about our services, please contact James Parden on 0114 3496983 or email james.parden@brmlaw.co.uk.

About the author

James Parden is a property litigation lawyer based at our Sheffield office.

For more advice on this topic or related matters:

0114 3496983 james.parden@brmlaw.co.uk