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The Tenant Fees Act – help is at hand

Monday 20 May 2019

If you are in the property industry it cannot have escaped you that a major change is afoot for landlords, letting agents and tenants.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 comes into force on the 1 June banning all tenant fees charged by agents and landlords except those specifically permitted by the Act. The ‘permitted’ fees include rent, security deposits, holding deposits, early termination and some default fees. 

The ban applies to all residential ASTs in England entered into on or after 1 June, including existing tenancies that renew for a fixed term. Tenancies continuing after 1 June on an existing fixed term or periodic basis will be bound by the terms in the current contract meaning agents and landlords will still be able to charge fees on these up to 31 May 2020. After this any fee taken will be classed as a ‘prohibited payment’. 

The other big change is the tenant’s security deposit which is capped at five weeks rent (or six weeks rent if the annual rent is £50,000 or more). 

The Aim of The Tenant Fees Act 2019

The aim of the Act is to reduce costs that tenants can face at the outset and throughout a tenancy, aiming to deliver a fairer, good quality and more affordable private rented sector.

Letting agents are still required to display their fees schedule and client money protection in their offices and on their websites to make these as transparent as possible. The act will now enforce visibility on all advertising too whether this be rental pages like Rightmove or Zoopla, social media or magazines.

What does this mean for landlords and letting agents?

Landlords will be hit hard by this new legislation, as letting agents will be hugely impacted by this financially and will be looking for ways to recover lost fees, presumably through the landlord themselves. Landlords will now be responsible for the costs associated with setting up, renewing or ending a tenancy (e.g. administration, inventory and check out).

Outsource your client accounting

Landlords and letting agents are now expected to be experts in so many fields, it’s overwhelming. If you are feeling like this, the smartest thing to do is to outsource your client accounting and client money protection to an independent partner who can, not only free up your valuable time to allow you to continue with what you best, but also save you overheads and ensure your client money services are always up to date. 

Why outsource your client accounting?

By outsourcing you are sure that your client accounting will have continuity, you will always remain compliant with the ever-changing rules and regulations surrounding client money. By outsourcing you remove the risk from errors or mishandling client money. If you choose The Letting Partnership you can be assured that our staff are all fully trained and experienced accounting personnel who are completely capable of handling your client accounting. By outsourcing to The Letting Partnership you can also reduce your overheads by not requiring accounting staff in your business. 

The Letting Partnership Client Accounting and Client Accounting Plus

The Letting Partnership client accounting provides you with a full service ensuring that all monies received are processed and allocated, all invoices and rent demands are raised and reconciled, plus a detailed daily receipts and payment schedule is produced. Statements and remittance advices are raised, tenant deposits are protected and all deposit monies are reconciled.

If you want all this and more, The Letting Partnership also offer Client Accounting Plus which provides you with all the benefits of Client Accounting plus a back up office support specifically tailored to suit your needs. Providing you with help in the day to day lettings admin chores and advice from qualified lettings professionals.

Transparent Pricing

The new Tenant Fee Act 2019 aims to make pricing more transparent. The Letting Partnership has always been one step ahead with transparent, pay-as-you-go pricing and no hidden costs; meeting the needs of the whole industry from small independent agents to large corporates.

Ensure that you choose a company that you can trust and be safe in the knowledge that your business is operating at the forefront of industry good practice, compliancy and professional standards. We collect, process and pay out over £20 million of client money every month. 

Contact The Letting Partnership

The Letting Partnership is a nationally recognised award-winning organisation who work hard to provide their agents with time, money and risk saving solutions to their client accounting. As Propertymark Platinum Partners and trusted industry leaders you can be confident handing over your client accounting.

Also available are TLP Financial Healthchecks, the cost effective, fast, online alternative to traditional account reports.

To get a bespoke quote or to discuss your needs please contact us on 01903 447900 and visit our website to find out more.