Government figures have revealed that the new ban on tenant fees could see landlords accruing costs of more than £80 million.
The tenant fees bill, which was published on the 2 May 2018 has put a ban on all fees charged to tenants apart from rent, deposits and certain necessary costs.
A government impact assessment confirms that “the main costs fall on landlords and letting agents” as a result of the changes – with landlords expected to absorb £82.9 million in the first year alone.
Letting agents face an even greater cost which is estimated to be £157.1 million over the same period of time.
Aside from rent and deposits, landlords and letting agents will only be able to charge tenants for:
- a change or early termination of a tenancy when requested by the tenant
- utilities, communication services and council tax
- a default by the tenant, such as replacing a lost key.
As well as banning fees, the bill will introduce a cap on holding deposits of up to one week’s rent and security deposits at no more than six weeks’ rent.
Fees for a change to the tenancy will also be capped at £50, unless the landlord can prove the change incurred greater costs.
Those in breach of the ban could face a fine of £5,000 for a first offence, with further offences within five years resulting in either penalties of up to £30,000 or prosecution.
The new rules are due to come into force next year as the measures pass through parliament.
If you’re a landlord and would like further information about how the tenant fees bill will affect you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, if you’re looking for accountants in Bracknell to help with any other aspect of your finances, PKB is here to help.