Following the Tenant Fees Act 2019 coming into effect on 1 June last year, there was a transitional provision, meaning that for a period of twelve months, the Act did not apply to tenancies and letting agency agreements pre-dating 1 June 2019.
From today, this transitional period has expired, meaning the Act now applies to all Assured Shorthold Tenancies and most residential licences.
The Act shook-up the letting sector with the new rules it introduced applying to both landlords and agents. The penalties for failing to comply are noteworthy and range from financial civil penalties of up to £5,000 for each offence to larger financial penalties of up to £30,000, criminal prosecution and banning orders.
David Smith, partner at law firm JMW Solicitors said, “Good practice could be for landlords and agents to contact their tenants and inform them what specific terms in respect of prohibited payments are no longer valid.
“Better practice will be for pre-existing agreements to be varied by consent in order to be brought fully in line with the new legislation.
“This may sound cumbersome, but arguably not as cumbersome as having to face the consequences of an avoidable breach of the Act.”