Renters around the country breathed a sigh of relief this week as MPs gave their seal of approval on banning letting fees and placing a cap on deposit schemes for the growing number of renters in England.
The Tenant Fees Bill, which was first tabled last summer, was passed in government on Thursday and will now be prepared for Royal Assent to make it a new law as of 1 June 2019.
The key points of the Bill are:
- Default fees will be limited to charges for replacement keys or a respective security device, and late rent payments only
- Cap holding deposits at no more than one week’s rent, applying to a maximum of one property only
- Security deposits will be capped at five weeks’ rent
- Amend the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to specify that the letting agent transparency requirements should apply to property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla
- Local authorities will be able to retain the money raised through financial penalties with this money reserved for future local housing enforcement.
Commenting on the progress of the Bill, Get Living’s CEO, Neil Young said: “We know that people are going to be renting for longer, so it’s imperative that we continue to improve the renting experience. The implementation of the Tenants Fees Bill is a step in the right direction and many of us in the sector have shown that it already works.”
Since it was founded in 2013, Get Living has never charged fees and always offered secure, longer tenancies of three years with a resident-only break. In 2017, the build-to-rent trailblazer made the decision to abolish security deposits for new and existing residents, putting £3 million back into renters’ pockets.
“We scrapped deposits because it’s the right thing to do for our residents and made business sense for us,” Neil adds.
“Build-to-rent landlords recognise that we are operating in a customer experience industry. We want to keep our residents happy and so are constantly innovating and looking at ways to take the hassle out of renting. We look forward to seeing further advancements across the private rent sector to make renting fairer, simpler and better.”