There have been just 17 First Tier Tribunal cases involving allegations of fees charged to tenants in contravention of the Tenants Fees Act, which came into effect two years ago.
In research published on its website, tenant activist group Generation Rent says 11 of the cases involved a holding deposit, five involved a security deposit, and one involved an apparently unreasonable charge for changing a name on a tenancy.
None of the cases involved the agent or landlord trying to charge a fee explicitly banned by the Act, such as administration, inventory, referencing or renewal.
Generation Rent says most cases involved landlords rather than agents and says: “Letting agents must be part of a redress scheme and this may be keeping bad behaviour in check.”
The research did not cover other means of registering breaches of the Act, through for example redress schemes or Trading Standards enforcement.
The relatively small number of tribunal cases is despite what was some confusion over the complexity of the Act’s provisions.
In addition, hundreds of agents who have branches in England and Wales have to abide by the varying provisions of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 in England and the Renting Homes (Fees Etc.) (Wales) Act 2019, which came into force in Wales in September 2019.
You can see the full Generation Rent research here.