Are your agents still charging fees?
June 05, 2019
At Ryder & Dutton we stopped charging fees to tenants from the 1st of March!
There is still a holding deposit of one week's rent applicable, which by paying the VAT on this will make it possible to transfer this to a NIL DEPOSIT scheme. This makes only a further one month's rent payment necessary to move in.
As a tenant, you can still lodge a five weeks rent deposit instead and if you do your holding deposit will go towards your first month's rent, however, the NIL DEPOSIT scheme can also include £5000 cover for accidental damage to the Landlord’s property (carpets etc) this protecting the Tenants money.
The only fees a landlord or letting agency can ask you to pay are:
- the rent
- a refundable tenancy deposit capped at no more than five weeks’ rent where your total annual rent is less than £50,000, or six weeks’ rent where your total annual rent is £50,000 or above
- a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than one week’s rent
- payments to change the tenancy when requested by the tenant capped at £50, or reasonable costs incurred if higher
- payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
- payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and council tax; and
- A default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement.
What if you were already a tenant before the ban came into effect?
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. After 1 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 you paid a deposit higher than the equivalent of five weeks rent for a tenancy with an annual rent that is less than £50,000 a year, or higher than the equivalent to six weeks rent for a tenancy with an annual rent higher than £50,000 a year, for a tenancy that started before the 1st June 2019, the Landlord or Agent will be allowed to continue to hold the amount of deposit taken at the start of the tenancy, providing the tenancy is not renewed. Where a tenant renews their tenancy by signing a new Fixed Term agreement on or after the 1st June 2019, any amount of their existing deposit which exceeds the applicable five or six week limit must be refunded to the tenant.
For landlords, we have our Rent on Time service.
One of the biggest worries for a landlord is not knowing whether the tenant will pay their rent on time. With us, you don’t need to worry. If you choose either our fully managed or rent collection services, we’ll pay the rent to you whether your tenant has paid or not. We’ll carry on paying the rent to you until the tenant pays the arrears or is evicted. As for legal costs, these will be covered by us and we will also pay up to 75% of up to 2 months rent after eviction whilst another tenant is being found.
As ever some terms and conditions apply but we are happy to explain at any of our offices.