OpenRent Community

Tenant Fee Ban Update: Government Response to Committee Evidence


#1

Here’s a quick summary of the most important points for landlords:


Tenancy Deposit Cap

  • The Committee recommended that tenancy deposits be capped at 5 weeks’ rent
  • The Government has rejected this, and is keeping the tenancy deposit cap at the originally-proposed 6 weeks’ rent

Who Pays for Referencing?

  • The Committee recommended a cap on the amount a landlord could take from a holding deposit in order to cover the cost of referencing
  • The Government reject this, saying it would unfairly penalise the landlord
  • Failing referencing, however, will not be grounds for keeping the whole holding deposit.

Landlords Can’t Evict Tenants if they Charge Illegal Fees

  • The Committee recommended that landlords be made unable to evict tenants with a Section 21 eviction notice of they charge unlawful fees
  • The Government accepts this recommendation.

Most of the response involved tightening up loopholes that could be used to get around the tenant fee ban.

You can read the full response here:

See the Tenant Fee Ban Timeline here:
https://blog.openrent.co.uk/when-will-ban-on-tenant-fees-happen/


#2

Tenants should not pay. Full stop.
Landlords however have to understand that they have been the beneficiary and their fees have dropped dramatically over the last 20 years. There is a complete lack of understanding of the work that an Agent does, not only to secure a Tenant, but also to ensure compliance, due diligence & legal security.
Landlords must accept they will have to pay Agents (reputable & licenced) more for this level of knowledge and competence.
It is my view that private Landlord’s must fulfill the same compliance and insurance obligations, as Agents should.
Government’s failure to understand this will set the Private Rented Sector back decades in terms of financial compliance and Tenant safety.
The Tenant Fees Ban is so short sighted it’s untrue. A rethink and some long term solutions need to be applied.