Agents are still facing significant issues following the tenant fees ban, with some afraid to charge fees – even if they are allowed to – for fear of enforcement action.
Theresa Wallace, co-founder of the Lettings Industry Council (LIC) and head of lettings customer relations for Savills, said that agents are still finding guidance unclear.
Speaking yesterday at a lettings forum in central London, one example she highlighted was Saturday check-out fees.
She said: “The government guidance states that agents can’t charge for this but then in the following sentence says there are times when they can.
“This needs clarification.”
The guidance states: “You cannot require a tenant to pay a fee when they leave the property, or checks out, on a Saturday, or at any time over the weekend.
“If a tenant chooses to check-out on a Saturday, you may charge for this, but only where the tenant has been given a reasonable alternative that does not require a fee (e.g. a check-out during office hours, if this required).”
Wallace said agents and landlords are also facing issues with tenants offering to pay an extra deposit or fee to have a pet but the guidance only allows for up to £50 to be charged for amending a tenancy.
She said: “The biggest lesson we can learn is it takes time to implement changes.
“The guidance came out in April and legislation came in June.
“The industry had one month to read 55 pages, understand guidance and rewrite everything to comply.
“For such a big change the industry needs a minimum of three months to adapt.”