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September 17

by Amy Kraven
New letting fees cap for tenants leaving rented homes

A new amendment to the bill banning landlord and letting fees will also stop claims for excessive costs when tenants leave a private rented home. The government announced the measure to MPs debating the Tenants Fees Bill in Parliament.

Under the amendment, landlords and letting agents must provide receipts for repairs to property damage or replacement keys.

Housing charities such as Shelter had campaigned for the change in the law to stop excessive charges for minor damage when a tenant leaves a private rented home. A second amendment will ensure landlords and letting agents return deposits within a reasonable time.

Housing minister Rishi Sunak said: “Tenants across the country, whatever their income, should not be hit with unfair costs by agents or landlords.

“This government is determined to make sure our housing market works and this new provision in the Tenant Fees Bill will make renting fairer and more transparent for all.”

The bill is expected to become law for the letting industry in England in 2019 after another bill introduces regulation for letting agents.

Another statement from Communities secretary James Brokenshire, who is responsible for housing policy, has thrown doubt on plans for tenancy agreements lasting a minimum three years. In a written statement, he axed the proposal for social housing organisations, but has left options open for introducing them for private tenancies.

“After listening to social housing residents, we are proposing not to implement the provisions to make fixed term tenancies mandatory for local authority tenants at this time. We recognise the benefits of fixed term tenancies in the right circumstances to help social landlords make best use of their housing stock and that flexibility will remain,” he said.

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