The government has this afternoon confirmed that the amount tenants have to pay up front to secure a home will be cut from six weeks’ rent to five for annual rentals of under £50,000.
A deposit of six weeks’ rent will continue to apply where the annual rent is £50,000 or more.
The move, announced as part of the Tenant Fees Bill, was anticipated by landlord groups yesterday. Both the National Landlords Association and the Residential Landlords Association have spoken out against the cut from six weeks' rent to five.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP says: “Today’s amendments will make renting a home of your own more affordable, fairer and more transparent – enabling tenants to keep more of their cash and stopping unexpected costs.
“Everyone deserves a home to call their own. Yet for some renters, moving to a new house can be difficult due to high upfront costs and letting fees.
“This is unacceptable. I want to see a housing market that truly works for everyone, and one which provides a better deal for renters.”
Other amendments to the Bill include protecting tenants from fees by limiting the type of default fees that can be charged by landlords and property agents.
This change means that during the tenancy landlords and agents will only be able to charge fees to replace lost keys or for late rent. Landlords will still be able to claim back costs for damage through the tenancy deposit at the end of the tenancy.
This afternoon's announcement continues: "However, landlords and agents will not be able to write lots of different default fees into a tenancy contract and tenants cannot be charged hundreds of pounds for a damaged item that actually only costs a few pounds to replace."