It is a busy period for Housing law. In addition to the proposed changes to 'no fault' evictions and the change to the prescribed wording of a Section 21 notice (effective from 1 June 2019), the Tenant Fees Act 2019 ("the Act") also came in to force on 1 June 2019.
This legislation is aimed at reducing the fees charged to tenants by landlords and agents at the start of, and during the term, of the tenancy.
Landlords and agents will need to be sure that they now comply with this legislation and do not charge a tenant for any fees prohibited under the Act. The consequences of doing so is £5,000 per breach of the Act.
There is also now a cap on the amount of tenancy deposit that can be asked for.
Those wishing to address costs that cannot now be passed on to tenants should consider the terms of their management agreements. If, as Phil Spencer suggests, landlords consider a consequential rent increase they will need to be sure they do so in accordance with the tenancy terms and conditions and Section 13 of the Housing Act 1988 (should it apply). They will have to make sure that the rent is reasonable as well, so as to stand up to any scrutiny under a challenge to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).
So it’s likely that landlords – and agents who tend to charge landlords a percentage of the rent – will seek to protect their bottom line by hiking rents. While there isn’t much you can do to prevent your landlord increasing your rent when you renew your tenancy, the best advice is to avoid giving your landlord or letting agent any reason that would allow them to legally demand money from you.