By way of introduction, as I write for Nee Hao, my name is Tiffany Wan. I am a solicitor working in Commercial Property for Edwards Duthie, a regional law firm in London. My passion for law and interest in journalism has presented me this opportunity to write on this platform to reach out a wider audience.
For landlords and tenants in England, the 1st November 2017 marked the beginning of change within the letting markets.
The draft Tenant Fees Bill 2017 was introduced in Parliament on 1st November 2017 and outlined the following proposals for change:
Security deposits to be capped at no more than six weeks’ rent
Refundable holding deposits to be capped at no more than one weeks’ rent
Continued allowance of payments in the event of a breach or default by the Tenant
The changes will only apply to new Tenancy Agreements entered into after the Bill is in force. Any contractual terms which attempt to deviate from the above amounts will be deemed as not binding on the Tenant even when signed up to by the Tenant themselves.
Local Authorities will be placed to enforce the bans through financial penalties of up to £5,000. Continued breaches or repeated offences would be a criminal offence but subject to a civil penalty of up to £30,000.
Within the Government’s published papers on the consultation they have set out the main aim of the proposed legislation which is to bring uniformity to the rental market in particular the private sector. The effectiveness of this however remains to be seen.