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).