Social Housing And Supported Housing: Are The Fees You Are Charging Your Residents Permitted?

Publication Date20 May 2020
AuthorMr Tim Wrigley
SubjectReal Estate and Construction, Real Estate, Landlord & Tenant - Leases
Law FirmWrigleys Solicitors

The Tenant Fees Act prohibits many fees landlords might charge other than basics like rent, deposit, and utilities. Are all your charges permitted?

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 was brought into law with the intention of conquering unfair charges and practices mainly associated with private rented accommodation.

The Act introduced a concept of "permitted payments" and focuses on ASTs (assured shorthold tenancies) and certain categories of licences. In short if an item a landlord or agent is charging to the resident is not a permitted payment then it is unlawful. The consequences of non-permitted charges include: a refund should be paid to the resident, fines, criminal offences for repeat offenders, and as a further incentive to comply the landlord cannot use a s.21 accelerated process to regain possession of the property while there are any refunds due.

Social housing and supported housing tenancies and certain licences often include payments, which on the face of it would not be 'permitted payments'. For example with supported housing it is common to require the tenant to pay X amount for support services in addition to the usual rent and charges for utilities/maintenance etc. There is an exemption for social housing and supported housing can fall within that exemption.

To be sure that the exemption applies you need to be sure that the accommodation is classified as social housing. There is a...

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