Worthing Newsletter – June 2019

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Tenant Fees Act 2019

On 1st June 2019 the new Tenant Fees Act 2019 came into force. There are now fees which landlords and agents may once have charged to the tenant which can no longer be claimed. The new Act applies to ASTs entered into on or after 1st June 2019 but will apply to all ASTs with effect from 1st June 2020. There is a raft of items which cannot now be charged to a tenant such as:

• charging the tenant a ‘set up’ fee for a new tenancy;
• if your AST allowed you to charge the tenant to carry out an inventory check or charge a check out fee, these can no longer be charged to the tenant; and
• any fees associated with a third party referencing service cannot be charged.

With regards to tenancy deposits, a maximum of the equivalent of 5 weeks rent can be taken (where the annual rent is less than £50,000), this applies to all fixed term contracts which are renewed from 1st June 2019 onwards.

The above are just a few of the fees affected. For the complete list, examples and information go to the government guidance published available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tenant-fees-act-2019-guidance

In addition, a new Form 6A section 21 notice has come into force which must be used for all ASTs from 1st June 2019. A section 21 notice cannot be served until an unlawful fee has been repaid.

A new How to Rent guide which has been published and must be used for all new and replacement tenancies (where the original tenancy predates 31st May 2019). Be aware that if the incorrect edition is provided to a tenant, a section 21 notice cannot be served until the tenant has been provided the current edition.