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028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Tenancy fees banned in England

The Tenant Fees Act bans most letting fees in England for new or renewed tenancy agreements entered into on or after 1 June 2019. The Act also places caps on a number of legitimate charges, including the amount that can be requested for a tenancy deposit and the amount that can be charged for amending a tenancy agreement.

Tenancy fees in other jurisdictions

The Welsh Assembly has also passed legislation to protect tenants from “unnecessary” charges for viewing a property, signing a contract or renewing a tenancy, but this legislation has not yet commenced.  

Back in 2012, the Scottish Government legislated to clarify the definition of “premium” contained in the Rent (Scotland) Act 1984, the effect of this clarification was to make it plan that all administrative fees or charges paid in connection with a private tenancy in Scotland were unlawful.

Letting fees in Northern Ireland

Many fees charged by agents in Northern Ireland at the outset or renewal of a tenancy are unlawful and can be reclaimed under the terms of the Commission on Disposals of Land Order (NI) 1986. While this piece of legislation is certainly helpful to those tenants who are asked to certain fees, it is silent on the matter of fees incurred during tenancy, such as late payment penalties and administrative charges for changes to tenancy agreements.

Tenants who have paid certain fees at the start or renewal of a tenancy may be able to claim these charges back, and can use our template letter to start this process. Contact the Housing Rights helpline for advice. 

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Outside NI, Private Tenancies

This article was written on 5 June 2019. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.