Tenant fees ban: Agents WILL be able to charge for change of sharer

Agents will be permitted to charge a fee when a sharer of a joint tenancy changes, a Government minister has confirmed.

However, any fee will only be permitted when the change has been requested by the tenant themselves.

Heather Wheeler, minister for housing and homelessness, confirmed to MPs on the CLG Committee that the Draft Tenants’ Fees Bill would be changed to make this clear, during a hearing yesterday.

Former housing minister Mark Prisk who had earlier noted that there was some “nervousness” about the way in which default fees — permitted under the Bill — are defined, raised the question as to whether or not a charge would be allowed on a joint tenancy when a sharer changed.

Wheeler said: “This is something we have listened to as the evidence has been given.

“We think that this is an area where further clarity is needed and we intend to permit a charge for a variance on the tenancy and charges related to a change of sharer where these are requested by the tenant.”

When asked to clarify further, she confirmed: “It would be appropriate to charge a fee for a change of tenancy for a sharer when the tenant is asking for that.”

As it stands, the Bill seeks to reduce costs to tenants by banning landlords and their agents from requiring any payments from tenants as a condition of granting, renewing or continuing a tenancy with the exception of rent, a refundable tenancy deposit, a refundable holding deposit and tenant default fees (for things like lost keys or late rent payments).

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6 Comments

  1. jeremy1960

    It would also be appropriate to charge the tenants for checks to expose their lies about their credit history their “self employed ” earnings, their record of paying rent their undisclosed previous addresses and for the time that we waited for them at the viewing because they couldn’t be bothered to show up on time…..

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    1. sideshowrobert31

      and charge them to use the ink in your ball point pen!

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  2. Aurora12

    So it still appears that Landlords will have to pay out of their own pocket to reference however many tenants then? (each group of potential tenants can choose to lie freely if it’s not costing them). In terms of fair play, I still can’t believe that the government deem Tenant Referencing will be the Landlords’ liability, whilst I do agree re: extortionate Letting Agent fees being capped, not banned.

     

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    1. Parky7863

      I don’t see why tenants shouldn’t be expected to continue to pay for referencing – agents just can’t charge for it or make any kind of commission

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    2. A_Tenant06

      Why do letting agents act like referencing / credit checking is the tenants responsibility? As a tenant, referencing doesn’t benefit me at all. I know that I will pay my rent and always have done in the past. The fact that other tenants don’t is not my fault and none of my concern. Landlords and agents don’t have to carry out a reference check. They choose to do so because they have calculated that it will save them money in the long term. Again, why is that my responsibility as a tenant?

      Put it this way – if you think the reference check benefits tenants, let them pay for it themselves. But allow them to choose NOT to pay for it if they don’t want one. How many do you think will choose to pay for a reference? Zero. If you are the one deciding that you want it, then it is your responsibility to pay for it.

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  3. Votta583

    Change of sharer should be equivalent to a months rent or let them go to a solicitors to draft the necessary paperwork up? Agents need to recoup some costs that are being ripped away due to the ridiculousness of the fee ban

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