Lettings Fee Ban
There has been a lot of coverage and press lately regarding the lettings fee ban due to come to fruition. It seems the Government really cannot decide whether it should stay, go, be lifted lightly or decide what will benefit Landlords and Tenants all together.
Lovett Estate Agents in Bournemouth take a look at what the ban includes, and what do Landlords need to know?
FACT: The Government has pledged to announce new guidelines making it illegal to charge tenants for things like references, inventories or basic admin. The Tenant Fees Bill will also introduce limits on how much deposit Landlords can take, as well as a series of new fines for breaking the rules.
FACT: Under the new rule, Tenants will only be able to be charged for rent, deposit, and contractual default penalties. Landlords and agents will be prohibited to charge on anything else.
FACT ON DEPOSIT: Once the law comes in, tenancy deposits will be legally limited to a total of six weeks’ rent. Holding deposits will not be allowed to exceed one week’s rent.
It’s important to note that Landlords and agents will still be required to keep deposits in an approved deposit protection scheme. However, there will be some circumstances in which a holding deposit may be kept by the Landlord.
FACT ON PENALTIES: The Tenant fees ban rules will also introduce a series of new penalties for breaking the rules, and these are pretty steep. The first offence, which would be treated as a civil offence, would attract a fine of up to £5,000. However, if the offence is repeated within five years then it would either then be treated as a criminal matter, or would attract a civil penalty of up to £30,000. An established agent such as Lovett will be already prepared and ready to get the regulations and rules firmly in place.
Housing Minister for the Government Alok Sharma said he had been looking at the 4,700 responses submitted during the recent eight-week long consultation process on the ban back in September, and had concluded that an outright ban would “deliver a more competitive, affordable and transparent lettings market” and that evidence from Scotland’s recent fees ban “shows it won’t have the negative consequences people have suggested it would”.
When will the tenant fees ban come into force?
The draft bill will have to be looked at and approved by MPs before it is passed into law, so there is currently no set date for the introduction of the ban. The document states: “The Department for Communities and Local Government will work with the sector to shape the wider regulatory framework and provide more detail on this in due course.”
Lovett Estate Agents in Bournemouth are well aware if this ban comes in we will be wanting to stand out amongst other agents and already being the lowest in the area for management fee and no hidden extras, we know Landlords will continue to come to us for advice and to look after their properties.
If you would like to speak to us on your property and how we can help you with Bournemouth and Christchurch Lettings and Property Management call us on 01202 303044
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