What a Tenant can be charge must comply with Permitted Charges Legislation
BILLS ARE DEFINED as Utilities, Television Licence and Communication Services Unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Landlord, the Tenant must arrange to be billed for utilities charges for the property [electricity, gas or other fuel, or water or sewerage] and pay the television licence fee for the property. The Tenant must arrange to be billed for communication services meaning a service enabling any of the following to be used— (a) a telephone other than a mobile telephone; (b) the internet; (c) cable television; (d) satellite television. Where the Landlord provides such utilities or services the Landlord shall only charge reasonable costs incurred by the landlord for or in connection with the provision of the utility or service. The Tenant agrees to remain liable for these items after the Expiry of this Agreement until the tenancy has legally ended. Where the Tenant allows, either by default of payment or specific instruction, the utility or other services to be cut off, whether during or at the end of the tenancy, the Tenant shall be liable for a Landlords loss and the costs associated with reconnecting or resuming such..
Rent Increase- The Landlord may increase the Rent after the Expiry of the fixed term of the Tenancy Agreement by giving the Tenant at least one months' notice in writing prior to a Rent Payment Day specifying the amount of the new rent. The Landlord will not increase the Rent during the fixed term of the tenancy.
Clauses charging for non permitted fees expose you to a fine
Previously we were permitted to charge for Rent Arrears Letters, Possession Notices and penalties for Tenant non-performance this is no longer the case. The rules for what may be charged are now explicit there is no ambiguity. These are called permitted charges. Clauses such as check out costs and MUST pay X for carpets etc to be cleaned are now unlawful
The following clauses for fees are the ONLY ones allowed
Charges for variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy, should the Tenant request of the Landlord or Agent a variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy [the substitution of a new contract in place of an old one], the Landlord/Agent reserves the right to charge a fee that is not likely to exceed £50 but may do so. The Tenant shall be notified in writing a summary of the reasonable costs incurred.
IMPORTANT TENANT LIABILITY WHILST PERMITTED CHARGES ARE DEFINED IT DOES NOT REMOVE THE LANDLORDS RIGHT TO SEEK RECOMPENSE FOR THE TENANTS FAILURE TO COMPLY. INCLUSION OF A GENERIC LOSS CLAUSE WITH CAVEAT “failure to perform or comply with prevailing legislation.”
LANDLORDS RIGHT TO RECOVER LOSSES The Tenant shall remain liable for any reasonable costs or losses suffered by the Landlord resulting from conduct of or damage caused by the Tenant (or any person they have invited into the Property or who is permitted to live there). The Landlord reserves the right to seek recompense for lawful costs. Such as damage, legal fees, court fees or any other losses resulting from the tenant, occupiers or their guest’s failure to perform or comply with prevailing legislation.
Added - Tenant consent to email them the How to Rent Guide
Why - The Statutory Instrument 2015 No. 1646 The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 permits service of How To Rent Guide by email where the tenant has consented [section 3] but be careful any section 8 or section 21 notice must still be served upon the dwelling.
Added confirmation service of key documents – did you know should a tenant claim they did not receive a Gas Safety Certificate before commencement of Tenure this can invalidate an eviction using a Section 21 Notice. We have experienced a similar argument re service of an EPC hence why included. Also added confirmation tenant received GDPR notification which should have been obtained at Tenancy application stage.
The Ban on Letting Fees Bill is very strict and very easy to be tripped up. Not only can a Landlord or Agent be fined, the tenant can block eviction, a Landlord could pursue their Agent for consequential loss and an Agent can be barred from being a Letting Agent. The new Legislation is that severe
Please read the government guidance to Ban on Letting Fees – Which appears flawed but should provide a defence in that you had a reasonable expectation the government guidance be valid. See Government Guidance Ban on Letting fees Bill
Please ensure you print a dated copy for your records for this may be your ONLY defence to mitigate exposure against fines
fine of up to £5,000 for a first offence. If you repeat a breach within 5 years of the fine, you may face criminal prosecution or be fined £5000 up to £30,000. Such action may result in being banned to Let or Manage Properties as may be considered not a fit and proper person under 2004 Housing Act and subject to a banning order under section 14 of the Housing Act 2016.
Individual staff of the Letting Agents maybe banned if considered the individual was complicit/negligent
Between - The "Landlord"
The Tenants are hereby notified that notices (including notices in proceedings) must be served on the Landlord by Tenants at the following address.
And The "Tenant " (note that under an AST a maximum of 4 Tenants is permitted)
And (if applicable) The "Guarantor" Where there is a Guarantor, add their full name and address. The signing of this Agreement must then be witnessed
Relating to The "Property" including, if applicable, the Landlord's possessions listed in the "Inventory"
The Property is supplied
HELP Furnished or Unfurnished
For the "Term" of
The "Commencement" - (subject to vacant possession being available)
"Expiry” on (but continuing thereafter as a Contractual Periodic contractual periodic tenancy meaning the same rental periods, until notice is given and vacant possession is returned to the Landlord)
Law change 1 June 2019 The "Administration Fee" for entering into this tenancy MUST BE NIL see Tenant Fees Ban
The "Rent" is
The "Rent Payment Day" Payable in advance on the
Rent Payment Day
(E.G. 1st Sunday)
The Tenant must pay a "Deposit" of
(Where no Deposit is received write "NIL")
Tenant must pay a “Deposit” of no more than 5 weeks rent where the rent is below £50,000 per annum or a “Deposit” of no more than 6 weeks where the rent per annum exceeds £50,000 Tenant Fees Ban
£ amount paid or NIL DEPOSITS NOW CAPPED see Tenant Fees Ban
The "Deposit Scheme" if applicable is
Select as specified on the Agreement
The "Lead Tenant" Where there is more than one Tenant, the person nominated to act on behalf of you all jointly and individually when dealing with the Deposit will be the first named person on the tenancy (in accordance with clause 2.4)
If the Agreement is signed today but commences at a later date then the signing should be witnessed
Immigration Act revised 2016 should a landlord or letting agent fail to ensure ALL tenants/occupiers have a righto reside for the duration of the tenancy then they may be fined £3000 for each breach. The Secretary of State may instruct the landlord to remove such persons without the need of a court order by way of reasonable force
Labour market enforcement - restriction on illegal migrants to work. A labour market enforcement undertaking (an “LME undertaking”) is an undertaking by the person giving it (the “subject”) to comply with any prohibitions, restrictions and requirements set out in the undertaking
Under section 42 of the County Courts Act 1984 it is possible for the Court to transfer a matter from the County Court to the High Court for enforcement but leave (permission) of the Court is required first. The transfer time varies from court to court and can take up to 28 days, but normally takes far less. An application to seek permission can be made either at the time of making the possession claim or after possession has been ordered.