The introduction of the Tenant Fees Act in 2019 caused many landlords to change their activities and working practices. The number of services landlords can charge for has been significantly reduced. It is vital landlords know what they can, and cannot, charge for. If you are in any doubt about a service or charge, please contact us, and we will be more than happy to advise you.
The capping of security deposits also impacted the rental market. Not every landlord is willing to let to tenants with pets. However, the landlords who did let to tenants with pets used to charge a higher security deposit, to cover the cost of decorating the house at the end of the tenancy period. With a security cap in place, many landlords couldn’t charge a higher rental fee, leading many to no longer let to pets.
Should landlords charge more when letting to tenants with pets?
However, in recent weeks, there has been a significant amount of discussion regarding how landlords can let to tenants and pets. One solution has been for the landlord to list two rental fees when advertising the property. The less expensive monthly payment is for tenants who don’t have pets, while tenants who have pets pay a premium price.
Some landlords and tenants have questioned whether this is acceptable under the Tenant Fees Act. It appears to be, and ARLA Propertymark has backed this solution as a way for landlords to welcome tenants with pets without being out of pocket.
With a recent study suggesting there is a notable proportion of tenants willing to pay more to ensure their pet can stay with them, there are services tenants will pay more for. The same study suggests features such as high-speed broadband connection, parking, access to a garden, satellite or cable TV services and even a parcel collection service are features tenants would pay more for each month.
Landlords can charge more in certain cases
It is acceptable for landlords to charge higher fees in some of these cases. High-speed internet and satellite or cable TV services are classed as communication services, and it is permissible for landlords to charge extra for these services.
The issue of tenants paying extra for a guaranteed parking space is an interesting topic, and it may be of interest to landlords. Not every tenant has a car or needs access to a parking space, so could it be a feature like the pet rental fee? Is there scope for a landlord to charge a lower rental price with no parking facility, and a higher rental fee which includes a rental fee?
In some areas, parking is at a premium, and some tenants would be happy to pay a premium. “At Thomas Morris, we know the Tenant Fees Act has caused problems for many landlords”, said Thomas Morris St Ives Branch Manager Katy Poore. “We aim to provide clear advice and guidance for landlords, helping you comply with regulations and to meet the needs of your tenants.”
Selling your home is stressful, but with the right support, you can make the process easier. Book a valuation at a time that is suitable to you or alternatively, you can phone our St Ives branch, managed by Katy Poore by calling us on 01480 468066.