Lesser known law means tenants in the UK could get 12 months’ rent back

Brits who are renting in the UK have been urged to check their rights as part of Renters’ Rights Awareness Week as they could be owed money.

Rule changes and updates meant that many of us are missing out on savings.

For example, two years ago a ban on excessive admin and deposit fees was put in place and this protects tenants from extortionate charges.

This means that renters cannot be billed for cleaning costs without good reason.

And, deposits must be capped at an absolute maximum of five weeks’ rent.

But, as many Brits find themselves the victim of no-fault evictions, it’s also useful to remind yourself of your rights when it comes to being turfed out of your home.

Generation rent, which is running a campaign into tenancy rights, claims that people are not aware that it's illegal to use a no-fault eviction against a tenant if the right licence has not been acquired.

According to the Mirror, it means if your landlord tries to evict you with a “no-fault” notice without this licence licence then you could be owed a whole years’ rent back!

A total of around 50 local authorities in England and Wales require this licence from landlords with half of the areas being in London.

That means buy-to-let investors need the licence to let out their property.

And, Mandatory licensing – which is the most popular – applies if you’re letting out a large House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in England or Wales.

If the property is being let to five or more people from more than one household who share the facilities (kitchens and bathrooms) then an HMO licence is needed.

In some cases, local authorities will practice selective licensing meaning that landlords need to follow specific rules to keep their licence.

This, for instance, may include a ‘fit and proper person’ test or an agreement to sign up to a charter or code of conduct.

And, under the regulations, renters could be protected against no-fault eviction if the agent or landlord does not have the right licence.

Plus, you might even be able to get a whole year’s rent back as compensation.

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You can check if your landlord has the right licence by speaking to your local authority.

Tenants are also being urged to do due diligence before renting in future.

You should get the landlord’s address, or check the letting agent is registered with a redress scheme, and be clear about your requirements and the agreed rent, before handing over your holding deposit.

If the tenancy falls through and you did everything that was asked of you, you should be entitled to all your money back.

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