The Tenants Fees Act came into force on 1st June 2019 for tenancies in England and applied initially to new tenancies created after that date .However, it now applies to existing tenancies as well .
Under the Act , landlords and letting agents cannot charge fees other than rent , deposits, holding deposits and charges for defaulting on the contract.There are also restrictions on how much can be charged .in particular, in most cases , deposits are limited to five weeks rent.
Agents do not need to immediately refund any part of an existing deposit which exceeds the cap and can hold it for the duration of the existing tenancy .However, any excess amount must be refunded if a new agreement is entered into .
Landlords who do not comply could be fined banned from renting out properties or face criminal prosecution .
Furthermore , if a prohibited payment has been taken , landlords cannot use the section 21 procedure for repossessing the property until the payment has been returned .
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