Finding your new home

Guidance on what questions to ask when you have found a home, and information on tenancy agreements and rental fees. 

Letting agency fees

Most tenant fees charged by landlords and agents are now banned. This ban applies to both landlords and agents, including online property portals. The ban applies to most private tenancies, including assured shorthold tenancies, student housing and lodger agreements.

Before you move in, you can only be asked to pay:

  • a holding deposit equivalent to no more than a week’s rent, and with clear rules about how you get it back;
  • a tenancy deposit; or
  • rent in advance.

You can only be charged for:

  • rent, at the amount agreed in your tenancy agreement;
  • late payment of rent if your tenancy agreement specifies a charge. You can’t be charged more than 3 per cent APR above the Bank of England base rate;
  • lost keys or fobs if specified in your tenancy agreement. You can only be charged the reasonable costs of a replacement;
  • ending your tenancy early - and no more than what it costs the landlord or agent;
  • changing or assigning your tenancy – and no more than £50, unless they can prove it cost them more.

Any other fees, including fees for references, credit checks, check-in, and administration are banned. If you have paid a banned fee to your landlord they can’t evict you using a section 21 notice until the money is repaid.

Letting agents must prominently display a list of their fees on their website and at each of their offices.

What if a landlord or agent charges you an unlawful fee?

If your landlord or agent charges you an unlawful fee, please try to keep evidence and report them to Lambeth Council.

Ask whether your letting agent belongs to a client money protection scheme. These schemes protect any money you pay to the agent as deposit and rent - even if the agent closes down. Client money protection schemes include:

Get further information about your rights when dealing with letting agents.