Stockport Council welcomes new law protecting tenants

Tenants renting a property in the private rented sector are now protected from unfair letting fees thanks to a new law that came into force on 1 June 2019.

The Tenant Fees Act will put an end to a number of unnecessary fees imposed by landlords and agents, and will apply to new or renewed tenancy agreements signed on or after 1 June 2019.
The aim of the Act is to reduce the costs that tenants can face at the outset, and throughout, a tenancy. Tenants will be able to clearly see what a property will cost them in the advertised rent with no hidden costs.

The Act will put a cap on the tenancy deposits that renters pay at the start of their tenancy at the equivalent of 5 weeks’ rent. Tenants cannot legally be expected to pay more than this where the total annual rent is less than £50,000 to secure a property.

The only payments that landlords or letting agents can now charge to tenants for new contracts are:
• rent
• a refundable holding deposit (to reserve a property) capped at no more than 1 week’s rent
• payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant
• payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and Council Tax
• a default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of a lost key/security device giving access to the housing, where required under a tenancy agreement

Councillor Sheila Bailey, Cabinet Member for Sustainable Stockport, said: “High deposits and letting fees can make properties harder for people to afford and are often hidden – making prospective tenants unaware of the true costs of renting a property.

“This new Act is really positive news and will ensure that renters in the private sector get a fair deal and are protected from paying excessive charges.”

If you are being asked to pay unnecessary fees that breach the new legislation and would like to report this, please contact housing.standards@stockport.gov.uk