On 5th November the Tenant Fees Bill started the Committee stage of the bill as it went to the Lords Grand Committee in the Moses Room (outside the Lords Chamber) for approximately 4 hours from 3.30pm. In Grand Committee, any member can take part and decisions on amendments can be made, but no votes can take place.
There were a number of points being debated by Members, including:
• Non-refundable holding deposits being capped at 3 days not 7 days, e.g. £1400pcm rental = max £138 holding deposit.
• Landlords or Agents confirming explicit data to tenants on any part of the deposit which is held if a deal does not proceed.
• Tenants not able to place a holding deposit on more than one property at a time.
• Landlords or agents providing a draft tenancy agreement upon receipt of a holding deposit.
• Security deposits being capped at 4 or 5 weeks rent, not 6 weeks. (Scotland have a cap at 8 weeks rent and the Queen’s speech in 2017 stated a cap on 4 weeks).
• Deposit passporting – having a direct transfer of money between landlords or agents. There is a working group in place, with landlords, tenants and deposit schemes who have met 3 times to date and are due to meet again in the Spring.
• The government’s duty to provide tenants with guidance on the effects of this bill
• The reimbursement of costs incurred by enforcement agencies in the exercise of their duties
• The requirement of tenants to make payments to cover a landlord or agent’s loss due to a breach of the tenancy contract
A second day of committee stage is yet to be scheduled.
You can watch or listen to the debate here:
You can follow the further stages of the bill here: