Brits no longer face paying hundreds of pounds just to change the name on rental contract as fee set to be capped at £50

RENTERS will no longer have to pay hundreds of pounds to change the name of their flatmate on their tenancy bill, thanks to a new law introduced in Parliament today.

Rip-off renting fees are a step closer to being banned today as ministers brought forward legislation to finally ban ridiculous fees charged by landlords and agencies.

The Tenant Fees Bill will save Brits £240 million a year by scrapping the fees, for basic administration, references and credit checks.

And it will cap deposits at six weeks rent.

Landlords and agencies will only be able to charge you up to £50 to change the name on an agreement, and will also limit the amount you have to pay for a holding deposit to a week's rent.

You will only be allowed to be charged for a change or early cancellation of your tenancy fee, utility bills and council tax, or for added extras like losing a key.

As The Sun revealed last month, MPs demanded that ministers tweak the legislation so that landlords were unable to hike their rents to make up for it.

Today it was confirmed that the Government will only be able to charge extra rent if it's agreed with the tenant beforehand, to prevent them from inflating their first month's rent to get around the ban.

The Bill will also:

  • Fine landlords and agents who charge fees – up to £5,000 for the first offence
  • Allow tenants who do get charged fees to get them back
  • Prevent landlords from booting out tenants under Section 21 notices until they have paid back any unlawful fees
  • Plough money raised from fines to local councils to help enforce the new rules

Housing Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said today: "This government is determined to build a housing market fit for the future. Tenants across the country should not be stung by unexpected costs.

"That’s why we’re delivering our promise to ban letting fees, alongside other measures to make renting fairer and more transparent."

But the Bill is not set to become law for at least another year, meaning thousands of renters will have to pay an extra £233 on average in the meantime.

And charities today raised concerns that loopholes in the legislation could still be slapped on through the back door.

Dan Wilson Craw, Director of Generation Rent, said today: “There is a risk that not all tenants will be protected thanks to an exemption that could let some landlords continue to charge fees on spurious grounds and will be hard to police properly. This potential loophole should be taken out of the legislation.

“And setting the cap on deposits at six weeks’ rent leaves in place a big barrier to moving home. The government needs to look at how to reduce the burden of this, for example by allowing the transfer of deposits between tenancies.”



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Britain's chronic housing shortage is the second most important issue to the public, new studies have said.

Theresa May has vowed to fix Britain's "broken" housing market, vowing more new homes and ripping up planning rules which slow building down.

She says she wants to build "more homes more quickly" and promised to ease the misery of millions of private renters too.

Earlier this month she insisted that renters must be treated like "human beings" and said she would protect them from "cowboy agents".

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