TENANTS renting private properties should no longer be hit by a raft of hidden charges from landlords and letting agents following the introduction of new legislation.
The Tenant Fees Act has banned a range of charges which private renters previously faced on top of paying a deposit and rent upfront.
The new rules, which came into force on 1st June, also put a cap on tenancy deposits and on refundable holding deposits.
Reading Borough Council’s Private Rented Sector Housing team want to make sure tenants are aware of the new rules and are advising them to be vigilant.
The fees ban is wide-ranging and landlords and agents are no longer allowed to charge for items such as credit checks, inventories, cleaning services, admin charges, referencing and gardening services.
Agents and landlords will only be allowed to charge: rent, security deposits, holding deposits and charges for defaulting on the contract. However, all these charges are subject to additional restrictions as part of the legislation.
Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Housing, said:
“Private renters could previously find themselves hundreds of pounds out of pocket with extra charges for things like references, inventories and credit checks. This would be on top of paying a hefty deposit and rent upfront.
“The cost of renting in Reading can be restrictive for a lot of people so I welcome the end of the expensive and unfair practice of piling on hidden fees.”
Cllr Ellie Emberson, Lead Councillor for Corporate and Consumer Services, said:
“The Council’s Private Sector Housing Team is responsible for ensuring landlords and letting agents stick to the new Tenants Fees rules so they will be keen to hear from any renters who believe they have been charged for something illegally.”
Tenants can find further information from the government advice website at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/791280/TFA_Guidance_for_Tenants.pdf and can contact the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team on firstname.lastname@example.org.