Hopefully by now you will all have got used to the provisions of the Tenants Fees Act 2019, which came into force on 1st June 2019. The period of transitional arrangements, during which the act was not fully in force in relation to tenancies which pre-dated the act, expired on 1st June 2020. The act now covers all residential tenancy and license agreements in the private rented sector (including student accommodation and properties let in the private rented sector by Housing associations).

Don’t forget that (despite its rather simplistic name) the act prohibits most payments from tenants to landlords or their agents, save for rent, service charge and a small number of exceptions. In most cases deposits of up to 5 times the deposit are permitted.

I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that any “prohibited payments” (for example any portion of a deposit which is in excess of 5 weeks’ rent) which are still being retained by landlords or their agents (whether or not they have been properly secured) must be returned to tenants even if the payments were made before the act came into force. Thankfully this rule does not apply to “one off” payments (such as check-in fees) taken before the relevant provisions of the act came into force.

Should you need any guidance on the Tenants Fees Act 2019 or any other aspect of residential or commercial property law, please get in touch with Kathryn Dale.