Tenant fee ban is coming on June 1 2019 – but will it reduce costs for renters?

The new ban comes into law this June, along with a six-week cap on deposits; but will renting become any cheaper?

Estate agent with keys and a mini house

The much-anticipated ban on residential letting fees is finally coming into law on 1st June, which means that estate agents and landlords will no longer be able to charge tenants for contracts, contract renewals, or credit checks. 

Many renters will breathe a sigh of relief, especially those who've been made to fork out hundreds of pounds every time they want to renew their rental contract, or those gearing up to move flats. 

The government have also announced a cap on deposits: six weeks' rent, or five weeks' rent if the rent is under £50,000 a year. 

Lord Nick Bourne of Aberystwyth, speaking in the House of Lords, says, '[We] intend for the provisions of this bill to come into force on 1 June 2019. This would mean that the ban on letting fees would apply to all new tenancies signed on or after this date.

'It has been clear throughout that this is a bill that we all support, and one that will deliver important changes to the private rented sector, improving lives for millions of tenants.'

However, it is unclear how and if the new law will prevent some landlords from simply increasing rents in order to make up the costs. While the majority of decent landlords will be unlikely to hike up rents significantly, there are undoubtedly unscrupulous landlords who will. 

As with many recent government moves to help renters, this latest measure still does not address the much bigger and more persistent problem of unsustainably high rents and sharp rent increases that force tenants to move.