The Tenant Fees Act and the Check-in Report

The Tenant Fees Act was introduced in 2019. It prohibits landlords from asking tenants to make some types of payment in relation to their tenancy.

The only payments a landlord can legally ask tenants to make are:

  • Rent
  • A refundable tenancy deposit
  • A refundable holding deposit
  • A refundable tenancy deposit
  • Payments to change the tenancy
  • Payment if a tenant requests an early termination of a tenancy
  • Utility payments, council tax, TV licence, communication services
  • Default payments if lost keys need replacing, or late rent payment
The Tenant Fees Act also prevents landlords from evicting tenants using the Section 21 eviction process until they have repaid any illegally charged fees or returned unlawfully retained holding deposits.

What About Property Check-in Reports?

Since the Tenant Fees Act was introduced, tenants cannot be charged for any type of property report that landlords create as a record of the property’s life cycle. This includes check-in reports conducted either by the landlord or third-party service.

Before the Tenant Fees Act, typically, landlords would pass on the costs of the inventory or check-in report to the Tenant and typically cover the costs of the check-out report. Sometimes Landlords used to charge the check-out to the Tenant as well!

Since the Act, landlords have been responsible for paying for all property reports.

Isn’t this just more Expense for Landlords?

Yes, and no. The check-in report is essential to ensuring landlords have an accurate and transparent record of their property, including any damage and marks left by earlier tenants. It also means the latest Tenants can refer back to the report at a later stage when checking out.

While landlords are responsible for bearing the cost of these reports, for example, if they use a third party to conduct them, they can save themselves some money.

Free Check-in Report Software

We strongly recommend that landlords not skip conducting check-in reports to cut corners. They are an essential part of the tenancy lifecycle and protect both landlord and tenant.

Landlords keen to save time and potential costs can use free check-in report software to accurately document the condition of their property. This includes adding images. It means in the event of a dispute, either at check-in or check-out, there is an accurate record of any damages to the property or outstanding maintenance issues. This includes meter readings, room descriptions and images.

You can download our free check-in report app to your mobile or tablet from Google Play or the Apple Appstore and use it in text or audio modes to create a check-in report.

Dan, 11 November 2022
The Tenant Fees Act and the Check-in Report

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