Q. When I rented out my property in July 2017 I took six weeks’ worth of rent as a deposit. The fixed term expired in January 2018 and has run on as a ‘periodic’ tenancy ever since. My tenant is telling me that as the transition period for the Tenant Fees Act 2019 has now ended, I am now only allowed to take 5 weeks’ worth of rent and must refund the extra week to them. Is this correct?
A. The transition period has ended, but strangely where a landlord has taken a deposit of more than the allowed 5 weeks, prior to 1 June 2019, this only needs to be refunded when the tenancy is renewed.
So as long as the tenancy continues as a periodic and provided you do not give the tenant a new fixed term tenancy (for example by getting them to sign a new tenancy agreement or renewal form), you do not need to refund this money.
Q. When I rented my property to tenants in 2016 we charged a checkout fee in advance. My tenant is telling me that this is illegal and must be refunded. Is he right?