From June this year there will be a ban on letting fees. In addition, tenant deposits will be capped at five weeks’ rent.
Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire commented, ‘This is part of our ongoing action to make renting fairer and more transparent and make a housing market that works for everyone. Tenants across the country should not be stung by unexpected costs from agents or landlords. This Act … sets out how and when landlords can charge tenants fees, helping renters keep more of their hard earned cash.’
This initiative should mean that tenants can make some savings - up to £70 per year per household, according to the Ministry of Housing. The Act also means that costs can only be recovered from tenants if they are reasonable and if evidence of the costs can be provided.
The Government is serious in its mission to improve the rental sector, with other initiatives including:
- a national database of rogue landlords and agents
- mandatory client money protection where rental money held by agents is safeguarded against theft and fraud
- the appointment of an independent regulator to oversee letting agents
- fixed financial penalties of up to £30,000 and banning orders, possibly for life, for the most serious rogue landlords and agents
- mandatory five yearly electrical installation safety inspections
Sarah Jenkins, Lettings Director at smarthomes said, ‘It’s great to see the Government taking positive action in the rental market place to make it fairer and more affordable for tenants. We ensure all of our tenants are fully aware of all costs associated with renting a property, but not every landlord and agent can say the same thing unfortunately.’
To see what properties smarthomes currently have for rent please click here: