The following Property Disputes Q&A produced in partnership with Dr David Smith of JMW Solicitors LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
For the purpose of this Q&A, we assume that the property is in England.
The Tenant Fees Act 2019 (TFA 2019) was introduced to control the fees charged to residential tenants. Its scope included fees charged when a tenancy was entered into as well as fees charged for changes to the tenancy and fixed fees charged where a breach of the tenancy occurred (called default fees in the legislation). TFA 2019 only applies to tenancies that are assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) or residential licences. It does not deal with residential tenancies that fall outside the Housing Act 1988 or holiday lettings.
TFA 2019 works by banning all payments made by tenants to landlords. It then permits specific classes of payment within TFA 2019, Sch 1. Such authorised fees include rent and payments in respect of damages set out in the agreement. TFA 2019 also makes specific allowance for limited categories of pre-calculated payment although it generally prohibits these. These two limited categories of payment are:
a fixed fee in respect of lost keys and other security devices
a limited interest rate of 3% above the Bank of England base rate for rent payments which are more than 14 days late
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