Tenant Fees Bill

Written evidence submitted by Jeremy Traynor, Traynor and Co Surveyors (TFB34)

Sirs

With regard to the Tenant Fees bill, I would ask that greater clarity be given to the potential liability of tenants for fees where they wish to break a tenancy without any contractual option to do so, during the continuance of the term.

To do so would, obviously, place them in breach of their contractual obligations, and it an established principle of law that in such events the injured party in a breach should be restored to the situation they were in prior to the breach.

A tenant wishing to leave in breach will typically cause the landlord to incur some or all of the following costs:

1. re-marketing, whether private advertising or marketing through an agent

2. costs for conducting referencing checks

2. costs of drafting a tenancy agreement

3. costs for a check-out inventory and a new check-in inventory

4. costs for conducting right-to-rent checks

The above costs are incurred as a direct consequence of the breach, and it is fair that they are borne by the tenant. This is acknowledged in the current proposals, but with a limit of £50 unless costs incurred are demonstrably higher. The above will inevitably incur costs well in excess of £50, for responsible landlords using an agency to undertake the bulk of the work. It is not fair that landlords be expected to absorb these costs through no act or omission on their part.

I suggest that expressing a £50 "limit" that is not, in effect, a limit will create ambiguity, and the erroneous impression that this is indeed a maximum figure.

I believe more clarity should be given as to what may be considered a fair charge, reference to £50 be removed, and that the standard test of what is reasonable should be applied, and the courts allowed to interpret this in the usual manner.

May 2018

 

Prepared 4th June 2018