The Tenants Fees Bill is due to come into force in April this year. Its aim is to reduce the costs of renting property for tenants by making major changes to the fees that a landlord or letting agent can charge.

Under the new legislation, a tenant will no longer have to pay fees as a condition of the grant, continuation, assignment, termination or renewal of a tenancy.

Such fees might include:

• Credit check fees
• Inventories
• Referencing fees
• Administration charges
• Tenancy renewals
• Charges for changing tenants
• Charges for early termination

There are some exemptions, however, and here are instances of when a landlord or letting agent may still charge a fee:

• Holding deposits
• Deposits
• Rent
• Charges for defaulting on a contract

In addition, if tenants have pets the landlord or letting agent is entitled to charge a higher rent to cover the cost of extra wear and tear.

Rest assured that we are committed to looking after all our tenants and landlords and will continue to provide excellent standards of service and value. I have been aware of the forthcoming changes for some time and have made the required arrangements to ensure that service levels are not adversely affected.