There is currently not a set or maximum amount which landlords or their agents have to charge. From the 1st of June 2019 upfront fees will be banned. The only fees you can be charged for will be during tenancy and in relation to lost keys of late payment of rent.
Deposits typically tend to be about 1 month’s equivalent of rent but can go as high as 6 weeks.From the 1st of June 2019 this will be limited to 5 week's rent.
Fee’s vary a lot, some online companies can charge as little as £20 for referencing fees with no admin fees but it is more common to find companies charging anywhere between £100-300.
Always check a wide range of agents to see how much they charge before deciding if you are prepared to pay the fees on the property you are interested in.
Remember that from the 1st of June 2019, the Tenant Fees Act (2019) comes into effect, which bans most fees and puts limitations on deposits.
Banned fees will include
- Charging for a guarantor form
- Credit checks
- Cleaning services
- Professional cleaning
- Having the property de-flead as a condition of allowing pets in the property
- Admin charges
- Requirements to have specific insurance providers
- Gardening services
Holding deposits, rent, deposits and charges for defaulting on the contract are all exempted from being banned but are subject to additional restrictions
Landlords will not be able to set rent at a higher level for a specific portion of the tenancy and then dropping it down afterwards. This is to prevent landlords or agents trying to offset the ban on fees by artificially increasing the rent for an initial period to make up the costs.
Tenancy/security deposits, are to be limited to five weeks’ rent (for properties where the rent is under £50,000 a year).
Holding deposits will be limited to a maximum of 1 week's rent and must be returned either as a payment bto you, or being put towards the first rental payment, or the security deposit. Landlords will only be able to hold the holding deposit for 15 days unless another ‘deadline’ date is agree in writing with you.
You can lose your holding deposit if you withdraw, don't take all reasonable steps to enter the tenancy, fail a right to rent check or if you provide misleading information which materially affects your suitability to rent the property.
charges for defaulting on the contract are only permitted in two instances - loss of keys and late payment of rent. Both are subject to restrictions. For the loss of keys, you can be charged the reasonable cost if the landlord is unable to provide evidence in writing with receipts it could be considered a prohibited payment. For late payment of rent, you could be charged 3% above the Bank of England base rate in interest on the late payment of rent from the date the payment is missed. You can't be charged by the landlord or agent for sending reminder letters.
If you breach your tenancy agreement and caused damage as a result, landlords may still seek compensation via deductions to your deposit or court action against you.