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Cost of living support: Help and advice with money issues
It is unlawful for private landlords or agents to charge tenants (or licencees) fees for tenancies entered into or renewed on or after 1 June 2019.
A private tenant can only be charged:
All other fees, such as charges for referencing, administration, renewing tenancies and credit and immigration checks, are prohibited.
From 1 June 2020 a private landlord or agent will not be able to charge prohibited fees regardless of when the occupancy agreement began.
If a prohibited fee is charged in error, it should be returned to the occupier as soon as possible or at latest within 28 days. As well as returning the unlawful fee, any breach of the legislation will usually be a civil offence with a financial penalty of up to £5,000.
If a further breach is committed within 5 years, this will be a criminal offence. The penalty for the criminal offence is an unlimited fine or a financial penalty of up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution.
The no-fault section 21 possession procedure cannot be used until any unlawful fees have been returned.
If you think you have been charged an unlawful fee you should report it to Trading Standards.