Next month, landlords will no longer be able to charge tenants costly fees when they sign up for a new property.
The new government bill – which takes effect in June – will mean that landlords and letting agents will be banned from charging costly extras, as fees will be limited to replacement keys and late rental payments only.
Security deposits will also be capped at the price of five weeks’ worth of rent and ‘holding’ deposits (which reserve the property for you over a certain amount of time) can’t be above the cost of one week’s rent.
A report from the charity Shelter found that one in four renters felt they had been charged unfairly by a letting agent, so this looks to be welcome news for renters up and down the country.
Those unnecessary fees certainly add up, as government analysis suggested that renters could save an average of £300 every time they move property.
Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said:
'This Bill is great news for renters, as it will stop them being asked for hundreds of pounds every time they move or want to renew a tenancy.
'It will also stop them being charged arbitrary amounts that often don't reflect the reality of the work. When renters are as pressed financially as we know many are, this will provide some important protections, and peace of mind.'
What does this mean for you?
If you’re a renter, this is good news as you’re likely to save yourself some cash when it comes to renewing your contract or moving on:
- More money in your pocket to help cover the cost of moving home
- Peace of mind that you won’t be caught off-guard with unexpected costs
However, if you’re a landlord, you could face trouble if you don’t keep up with the new bill:
- Landlords could face legal action if they don’t follow these new rules, with a fine of £5,000 for a first offence and civil penalties of up to £30,000
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