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However, thanks to the new rules, referred to as the Tenant Fee Ban 2019, this could all be about to change.
Tenant fee ban 2019
According to the new rules that came into force at the beginning of June this year, landlords are now unable to demand more than five weeks’ rent as a deposit.
However, this isn’t just good news for new tenants saving for their deposit. If you signed your tenancy agreement before 1st June with a deposit of more than five weeks rent, you could be owed some money.
That’s because 61 per cent of landlords were found by the the Government’s English Private Landlord survey in 2018 to have made tenants shell out up to six weeks’ rent to secure a home. That means over half of tenants in the UK could be owed money from their landlord.
How much you could be owed depends on your weekly rent. According to housing charity Shelter, the average weekly rent in private housing is £192. So chances are you could expect to receive that back from your landlord.
However, you can only claim the money back if you renew your contract. If your landlord doesn’t hand the cash over when you sign the new contract, you are within your rights to ask for it back.
If the deposit is being held in a Government approved scheme you can expect it back in your bank account within 10 days. But, if you are a lodger, in student accommodation or have an assured or protected tenancy and your deposit isn’t protected by a Government-backed scheme, it could take longer.
If your landlord still doesn’t cough up the cash, you can report them to Trading Standards or to court. Both can force them to return the money within seven to 14 days.
Still, it is important to bear in mind that landlords are still able to make deductions for any wear and tear. But, in accordance with the other new rules making up the tenant fees ban 2019 this should be limited to ‘reasonable costs’ required to fix the damage.
Could you be owed over £100 from your landlord?