Tenant Fee Ban Toolkit for England
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Since 1 June 2019, landlords and agents have been unable to charge a number of fees in England for new tenancies signed on or after that date. As of 1 June 2020, this ban on fees has extended to include most existing tenancies as well.
The tenant fees ban is wide ranging and bars most fees from being charged. Landlords and agents will only be able to charge for payments defined as permitted in the legislation.
This guide will act as a primer to help you understand what fees you may be able to charge as well as how to ensure you do not accidentally fall foul of the legislation. In it, we offer practical tips on how to deal with the new legislation, as well as a number of document templates to help comply with the fee ban.
What types of tenancy does the legislation apply to?
In England, ASTs, student accommodation, and licences are caught by this. Company lets and non-assured tenancies are exempt.
What fees are prohibited?
The short answer is most fees are banned. The Tenant Fees Act 2019 (TFA) starts by prohibiting charging fees on virtually everything. It then creates a number of permitted fees which can be charged.
In England, the legislation bans anything that the tenant (or someone acting on their behalf like a guarantor or parent) is required to pay as a condition of the grant, renewal, continuance, variation, assignment, novation or termination' of an assured shorthold tenancy or licence agreement.
This is a very broad definition which means almost all fees are banned by default under the TFA. This definition also includes payments to most third parties, either for services throughout the tenancy or for specific performance of a job and loans from third parties.
Examples of banned fees then would be:
- Charging for a guarantor form
- Credit checks
- Cleaning services
- Professional cleaning at the end of the tenancy (England only)
- Having the property de-flead as a condition of allowing pets in the property
- Admin charges
- Requirements to pay for an insurance provider
- Gardening services
The remainder of this page is available to members of the NRLA. It contains guidance on complying with the English legislation, a number of fee ban compliant documents, what charges can be made under the fee bans and a number of practical tips on adapting to the requirements of the Tenant Fees Act.