A tenant whose landlord overcharged their tenancy deposit received the refund they deserve, thanks to the Tenant Fees Act that was implemented in 2019.
According to the legislation, tenancy deposits should be at a maximum of five weeks’ worth of rent for those paying rent for £50,000 annually. For tenants paying £50,000-upwards in annual rent, the maximum deposit allowed is six weeks’ worth of rent. The act also makes it clear that current deposits going over the rent cap must be transferred to another fixed-term tenancy, a new one that commenced on or after June 1st 2019.
After the new laws were implemented, tenants are to receive an average deposit repayment at £317.06 on a renewal. Additionally, the Act has allowed renters to save a significant amount, an average of £163.08, and this has resulted in a drop in tenancy deposits as well. London renters are faring even better, with savings resulting from a rental deposit drop of an average of approximately a little over £300.
The Government-approved tenancy deposit protection scheme provider, TDS (or Tenancy Deposit Scheme), Chief Executive Steve Harriot happily noted that landlords have been quite accepting of the new legislation and have been doing their part.
The Tenant Fees Act was created to help ease the difficulties tenants face every time they need to look for ways to pay their tenancy deposit. It is intended to help them go through their tenancy without worrying about how to take care of costs.
Changes since the tenant fees act
More than anything else, what the Act did was give tenants more opportunities to exercise their rights, particularly among rogue landlords and letting agents.
The Tenant Fees Act mandates all landlords and letting agents who overcharge tenants to give back the excess of the deposit to the tenant. This is what happened to the tenant whose landlord asked for a property deposit that was over the maximum amount. So, when the Act was implemented in June 2019, the tenant won their case against the law-breaking landlord and received around £4,800 as deposit refund.
TDS figures reveal a marked improvement and showed drops in deposits while helping tenants save as much as £163 on average, a significant amount for anybody who has spent the previous years trying to raise extra funds for their tenancy deposits.
The tenant fees act
The Tenant Fees Act was introduced and applied in June 2019. It is an act that bans the majority of the letting fees while also putting a specific cap or limit on tenancy deposits that private rental tenants pay to their landlords in England.
However, this tenant fees ban is applicable only to tenancy agreements that were finalised and signed on or after June 1st 2019.
After the implementation of the Act, landlords and letting agents can charge the following payments to their tenants with new contracts:
- Refundable tenancy deposits (following the specified cap on the amount)
- Holding deposit for property reservation (refundable)
- For early termination of tenancy (tenant-requested)
- For assignment or variation of a tenancy (with a £50 cap)
- For late rent payment or for lost key replacement
- For Council Tax, utilities, and TV licence, among others
A tenancy deposit is a pot of money that renters pay their landlords before they can move in and start their tenancy. It is also known as a security deposit as landlords can use it to cover for expenses due to property damage (caused by tenants) and rent arrears.
Tenants are expected to adhere to the terms of their tenancy agreement; otherwise, their landlord can deduct a portion of the total amount from their deposit. If there is no property damage, rent was fully paid, and terms in the tenancy were meticulously followed, the landlord is expected to return the deposit money to the tenant.
If there is a breach in the agreement, landlords can only deduct a portion from the deposit if the action or incident cost them additional expense or expenses. If the breach did not cost any additional spending, then the landlord cannot deduct any amount from the tenant’s deposit money.
Tenancy deposits should be protected, which is why landlords are required to register them with any of the three government-approved tenancy deposit protection schemes. If a landlord fails to protect the deposit, the tenant can file for a tenant deposit protection compensation claim.
Filing for claims can be a tiring and challenging process, which is why new laws in the Tenant Fees Act came at the right time. With the new legal changes, tenants have better chances of paying deposits and getting them back when they have the right to.
Hire a team of tenancy deposit experts
Despite the advantages of the Tenant Fees Act, there are still rogue landlords that do not protect and refund their tenants. If your landlord is one of these, get in touch with a team of expert solicitors who are authorised and regulated by The Solicitors Regulation Authority. These legal teams know what to do and will guide you through every step of the tenancy protection compensation claim.
The solicitors at Tenancy Deposit Claims will guarantee you higher chances of winning a tenancy compensation claim. Get in touch with them right away and waste no time in claiming what is rightfully yours.