Tenant Fees Bill – update

The Tenant Fees Bill is now expected to come into force on 1 June 2019. Once the Bill receives Royal Assent it will apply to all tenancies that are agreed, whether new or renewed, after this date. Our previous posts on the Bill can be read here.

The Bill had its third reading in the House of Lords on 15 January. Speaking in the Lords, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on behalf of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) said that this was a Bill that would “deliver important changes to the rental sector.. and ..offer greater protection for tenants whilst not unfairly impacting on landlords or agents.”

It is important to note that the changes made to the Bill by the House of Lords have yet to be approved by the Commons. This means that the final form of the Bill is not yet known. So whilst Lord Bourne has indicated that the MHCLG would like the Bill to be in force on 1 June 2019, this is subject to parliamentary time in its final stages and capacity within the ministry itself. Therefore, this deadline might be missed although agents should certainly plan for it.

Finally, it is also important to realise that any tenancy signed and executed before the commencement date will not be subject to the fees Bill for 12 months whereas tenancies signed and executed after the commencement date will be subject to the Bill immediately. It is the execution date that is critical for the purposes of this Bill and not the commencement date of the actual tenancy.