Tenant Fees Bill to become law on 1st June 2019

'Bristol Res' Blog • 24 January 2019

The Tenant Fee Bill which was first announced in the budget in November 2016 will now become law on the 1st June this year.  Designed to make it easier for tenants in the private rented sector to secure a property or move between properties it is also designed to exempt tenants from all charges associated with renting the property other than rent and utilities.  As a consequence the letting industry is set to undergo some significant changes in the next few months in order to meet the challenges presented by this bill.

The Tenant Fees Bill will impact

  • Maximum Reservation Fee = 1 weeks rent (money paid to secure a property – previously 1 months rent was typical)
  • Maximum Deposit = 5 weeks rent (previous maximum was 2 months rent)
  • Landlord and Agent not allowed to charge any initial fees ( typically 50% of one months rent was charged to cover costs associated with viewings,referencing, admin, setting up and signing of tenancy
  • No costs during or after the tenancy – other than utilities, cost or replacement keys, or deposit deductions as per deposit scheme guidelines.

full details of the Tenant Fee Bill can be found here

To ensure compliance the Government is following up this legislation with significant penalties for anyone breaching the new rules.  A landlord or agent in breach of this legislation will face a fine of £30,000 and the inability to serve a Section 21 notice ( the notice required to bring a tenancy to an end).

With the time this legislation has taken to become law, landlords and agents have had a long time to anticipate this moment.  On a national level with legitimate costs having to be met by agents to avoid substantial reduction in service levels and potential redundancies it is widely understood that fees to landlords will have to increase.

On a local level with the shortage of rental properties in the Bristol market and the ever increasing demand from tenants wanting to live in our city  it is strongly expected that the impact of this legislation will be an increase in rents.

Just lettings, just Bristol 



The One City Plan – the vision for our city to 2050.

A bold and ambitious plan which sets out targets for the future of Bristol over the next 30 years has just been published.

The One City Plan was an idea introduced by Mayor Marvin Rees’ administration which aims to bring together a number of organisations from across the city’s business, charitable, academic and public sectors to contribute to a plan which aims to make Bristol fair, healthy and sustainable with reduced inequality.

The plan, which is designed to develop and evolve over the coming years, sets out targets under six priority themes: health and well being, economy, homes & communities, environment, learning & skills, and connectivity.

In conjunction to this there is an intention to focus on three key issues each year for the next three decades. The top priorities for 2019 are highlighted as tackling knife crime and street violence, bringing an end to period poverty and addressing the lack of affordable childcare.

Acknowledging the plan is ambitious in scope, Marvin Rees said ;

“We have got to have ambitions for a city. 2050 is a long way away and it’s challenging, but if we don’t do it, we get what are given. As a city, we are responsible for shaping and investing in our future and so the One City Plan describes the Bristol we want to live in.

While it’s important to recognise this is very much a first draft which will need evolving, it is most importantly the first time we have brought the city together and partners have created a long-term plan together. It is that commitment to collaboration that will help us succeed. We are stronger together and this plan will help everyone involved achieve new things, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.”

You can keep up to date with the One City Plan by visiting the website or click here to see the plan in full.

Just lettings, just Bristol 

All private landlords to become members of a Property Redress Scheme

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire announced yesterday that landlords will be legally required to join a landlord redress scheme.

The new ‘Housing Complaints Resolution Service‘ will be a single housing complaints service for all residents, including renters and homeowners.
The government say it will make it easier for people to claim compensation when it is owed. It intends to work with key stakeholders to establish this, and a Redress Reform Working Group will be established.

News that private landlords will be legally required to join a housing redress scheme has been welcomed by Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action.
He commented: “Personally, I think this is a really positive step, not only in boosting protection for millions of renters across the country but also for recognising landlording as the professional business that it should be.”

At this stage it is not clear whether landlords who use agents such as The Bristol Residential Letting Co, who are already members of a redress scheme, need to join an additional scheme or can be covered by way of their agent.

As further information becomes available we will share that with our landlords.

Just lettings, just Bristol