Use the tabs below to read more about the ban in England and Wales. 

What is the Tenant Fees Act?

The Tenant Fees Act came into force on 1 June 2019, banning all tenant fees which are not considered to be 'permitted’ fees. Permitted fees include rent, security deposits, holding deposits, early termination and some default fees. The key measures include:

  • Tenancy Deposits must not exceed the equivalent of five weeks' rent (unless the annual rent exceeds £50,000 in which case deposits are capped at six weeks’ rent)
  • Holding Deposits will be capped at no more than one week’s rent
  • The amount that can be charged for a change to a tenancy will be capped at £50, unless the landlord demonstrates that greater costs were incurred
  • Consumer Rights Act 2015 specifies that letting agent transparency requirements should apply to third-party websites
  • A breach of the ban will incur a civil offence with a financial penalty of up to £5,000

Alongside rent and deposits, agents and landlords will only be permitted to charge tenants fees associated with:

  • A change or early termination of a tenancy when requested by the tenant
  • Utilities, communication services and Council Tax
  • Payments arising from a default by the tenant where they have had to replace keys or a respective security device, or a charge for late rent payment (not exceeding three per cent above the bank of England base rate)
Tenant Fees Toolkit

We have created a number of resources to help our members comply with the complex tenant fee ban legislation. The toolkit includes videos, FAQs, a case study, fact sheets and more.

Our position on the tenant fees ban

Letting agents deliver a hugely valuable service and fees cover the costs of ensuring a tenant’s home is safe, legally compliant and professionally managed.

We believe fees should be open, transparent and reasonable. They represent legitimate costs to the business so consequently we do not support a full ban. We are concerned that these costs will be passed on to landlords, who will need to recoup the costs elsewhere—inevitably through higher rents.

Letting the market down?

As part of our tenant fees campaign, we commissioned leading consultancy Capital Economics to look the impact of the letting agent fees ban on landlords, letting agents, households, the buy-to-let sector and the wider economy.

Representing members

Former ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive David Cox gave oral evidence to the Communities and Local Government Committee on 29 January 2018, discussing the Private Rented Sector and the Draft Tenant Fees Bill. Watch the meeting on parliamentlive.tv.

30 May 2017
Consultation on the Banning of Letting Agent Fees paid by Tenants

We do not support the banning of letting agents charging fees to tenants. We believe fees should be open, transparent and reasonable. They represent legitimate costs to business that need to be covered.

21 Dec 2017
Draft Tenant Fees Bill Inquiry

In our written evidence to the Communities and Local Government Committee, we made it clear that we do not support the provisions within the Draft Tenant Fees Bill.

Related news

11 Mar 2021
Renting with pets key questions answered

Issues around the current rules when renting with pets have caused some confusion for agents. Propertymark provides some relevant information to help answer those key questions.

08 Feb 2021
Deposit disputes and tenant fees – what agents need to know

As a letting agent, it is not only important to be up to date with permitted fees to avoid potential deposit disputes; it can also save you costly legal penalties too. Debbie Davies, former letting agent and now Head of Sales and Marketing at Propertymark Industry Supplier, Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), explains what agents need to know about tenancy deposit disputes and tenant fees.

29 May 2020
Tenant Fees Act 2019 – Transition period comes to an end

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 provided for a 12-month transition period for tenancies which started before June 2019 and ends on 31 May 2020, meaning any tenancy clauses in existing contracts that charge fees will become unenforceable after this date.

What is the Renting Homes (Fees etc.)(Wales) Act?

The Renting Homes (Fees etc.)(Wales) Act legislation came into force on 1 September 2019. Letting agents and landlords working in Wales can now only charge tenants for fees in relation to rent, security deposits, holding deposits and breaches of contract. The key measures include:

  • Tenants can not be charged for an accompanied viewing, inventory, signing a contract, exit fees or for renewing a tenancy
  • Letting agents and landlords must only charge fees relating to rent, security deposits, holding deposits, utilities, TV licence, communication services, Council Tax and payments in default
  • Provides a regulation-making power to limit the level of security deposits
  • Caps holding deposits to the equivalent of one week’s rent
  • Creates a clear, simple and robust enforcement regime for offences

Renting Homes Act enforcement 

Enforcement allows for Fixed Penalty Notices of £1000 to be issued against anyone charging a banned payment. If penalties are not paid, enforcement authorities, which encompasses local authorities and Rent Smart Wales, can prosecute through the Magistrates Court. Convictions could result in an unlimited fine and will be taken into account by Rent Smart Wales when considering whether to grant or renew a licence.

Tenant Fees Toolkit

We have created a number of resources to help our members comply with the complex tenant fee ban legislation. The toolkit includes videos, FAQs, a case study, fact sheets and more.

How did we get here?

On 27 June 2017, the Welsh Government’s legislative priorities for the coming year (2017–2018) were outlined in an annual statement by the First Minister, Carwyn Jones. It included news that the Welsh Government will take legislative action to tackle the fees charged to tenants in the private rented sector. 

We will introduce a Bill to prevent unfair fees from being charged to tenants and prospective tenants. This will provide those in the private rented sector with clarity about the costs involved and ensure the system is fair, equitable and sustainable.
Carwyn Jones AM First Minister of Wales

Our position on the tenant fees ban

In 2017 the Welsh Government ran a ten week consultation seeking views on the fees charged to tenants in the private rented sector. In our response, we argued against an outright ban stating our belief that fees should be open, transparent and reasonable. We reasoned that:

  • Letting agent fees represent legitimate costs to the business that need to be covered
  • Letting agents deliver a valuable service in ensuring that properties are safe, compliant and professionally managed
  • Fees are charged to tenants to reflect real work that is undertaken on their behalf, including reference checks, tenancy agreements, credit checks and general administration
  • If fees to tenants are banned outright, landlords are likely to pass on higher agents’ fees to tenants resulting in higher rent
  • If landlords turn away from agents due to increasing costs, they will likely be unaware of new (and existing) legal requirements. This could cause widespread non-compliance, putting tenants in danger and placing added pressure on local authorities as tenants seek help
  • Private landlords are an important source of investment in housing stock, a negative impact on their financial position will likely result in less investment
  • Would-be landlords could be put off by the increased costs from letting agents. Along with the withdrawal of mortgage interest rate relief and additional stamp duty, this will likely reduce the number of new entrants putting upward pressure on rents

Representing members

Former ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive David Cox gave evidence to the Welsh Assembly’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee On Thursday 5 July 2018, scrutinising the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill. Watch the meeting on Senedd.tv.

04 Sep 2017
Fees Charged to Tenants in the Private Rented Sector (Wales)

ARLA Propertymark has submitted its views to the Welsh Government’s consultation on fees charged to tenants in the private rented sector, arguing that if fees to tenants are banned outright landlords are likely to pass on higher agents’ fees to tenants in the form of higher rent.

02 Jul 2018
Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill

We have provided written comments to the Equalities, Local Government and Communities Committee regarding the Bill calling for the inclusion of utility payments and green deal charges as permitted payments, as well as seeking clarification on Change of Sharer and Surrender of Tenancy.

Related news

11 Mar 2021
Renting with pets key questions answered

Issues around the current rules when renting with pets have caused some confusion for agents. Propertymark provides some relevant information to help answer those key questions.

19 Oct 2020
ARLA Propertymark’s concerns raised in Welsh Parliament

During a plenary debate on the general principles of the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill on 13 October 2020, ARLA Propertymark was referenced by Mark Isherwood, Housing Spokesperson for the Conservatives, stating our arguments that the Bill will not secure the security of tenure and will make letting a less viable business for landlords, which in turn could push prices up if there is less housing stock available.

27 Apr 2020
Updates made to Tenant Fees Toolkit Wales in light of changes to default fees

The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019, which gives Welsh Ministers the power to prescribe a list of payments in default and a limit of what is permitted, applies to all tenancy agreements signed on or after 28 April 2020.