What Do Tenants Pay For? A Full Breakdown of Fees & Costs

Cost of renting property

I’m going to breakdown this article into two sections:

  • A list of costs that the average tenant in England will have to pay when renting
  • A list of costs that the average tenant in Wales will have to pay when renting

Why? What’s the difference?

Since the 1st of June 2019, when the Tenant Fees Act 2019 was introduced, landlords and letting agents in England have been prohibited from charging tenants with all letting fees (for example, tenants in England cannot be charged a ‘tenant referencing’ fee anymore). Unfortunately, the legislation didn’t apply to tenants in Wales (yet), so they’re still subject to those pesky fees.

Ultimately, that means the typical costs that tenants in Wales are subject to are not the same for tenants in England anymore.

Anyways, let’s take a look at the costs the average tenant in England & Wales have to stump up for when renting a property…

Ideally, I would have loved to have stipulated a price for each fee (even if only a rough one), and that was my original intention. However, as I hopelessly tried to assign a price to each fee it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t possible to do so, because the costs vary so much depending on individual circumstances! So rather than give any false expectations, I made the executive decision to not list any prices! So I’ll leave it in your very capable hands to do your own research based on your own requirements and circumstances.

A list of costs that the average tenant in England will have to pay when renting

If you’re a tenant in England, it’s really important that you understand the impact of the “Tenant Fees Act 2019”, because it essentially means landlords and letting agents are not legally allowed to charge you with a whole bunch of crap like they used to! If they do, they’re prone to being prosecuted!

For more information, I recommend reading my guide on the Tenant Fees Act (while the guide is written for landlords, you should still be able to make sense of it from a tenant’s perspective).

Below is a list of costs that the average tenant in England will have to pay for, which takes into consideration the fees that have been banned by the Tenant Fees Act (i.e. you won’t see expenses related to tenant referencing).

The typical costs of being a Tenant in England
ExpenseNotesOptional
Holding Deposit

You may or may not be charged an initial holding deposit to secure the property, and it should be refunded.

Rent
Tenancy Deposit

You will typically be charged anywhere between 4 – 6 weeks’ worth of rent.

Council Tax

If you’re a HMO tenant, then your monthly rent will most likely include council tax.

Gas & Electricity

If you’re a HMO tenant, then your monthly rent will most likely include utility bills.

Water

If you’re a HMO tenant, then your monthly rent will most likely include utility bills.

Internet / Broadband

If you’re a HMO tenant, then your monthly rent will most likely include internet.

TV License
TV Services (Netflix, Sky Digital etc.)
Tenants Contents Insurance

Generally speaking, your landlord will have buildings insurance, but they won’t have an insurance policy that will cover your personal possessions against damage or theft, so you should get your own Tenants Contents Insurance. You can get some competitive quotes from City Landlord.

Penalties

Landlords are entitled to enforce certain penalties, which can include late rent, replacement of a lost key/security device, or ending a tenancy early.

Damages

Any damages caused that doesn’t include wear & tear will be deducted from your deposit. If the damage caused exceeds the deposit amount, you may have to pay extra.

A list of costs that the average tenant in Wales will have to pay when renting

Most of the costs that apply to tenants in Wales in England overlap, which is obvious when you compare the tables. However, tenants in Wales are still subject to many of the letting fees that are now illegal to charge tenants in England!

It’s also worth noting that in England there are certain caps that apply to fees, which don’t currently apply in Wales. For example, tenants in England cannot be charged more than 5 weeks’ worth of rent for a deposit (which isn’t the case in Wales).

The typical costs of being a Tenant in Wales
ExpenseNotesOptional
Credit Check / Referencing Fee
Tenancy Set-up

Most letting agents will charge a tenancy set-up fee, which covers the cost for much of the admin work, like drafting the tenancy agreement.

If you go directly through a landlord, then it’s unlikely you’ll be charged a setup fee.

Check-in fee

Most letting agents will charge a check-in fee, which covers the cost for an inventory and key handover.

If you go directly through a landlord, then it’s unlikely you’ll be charged a check-in fee.

Holding Deposit

You may or may not be charged an initial holding deposit (at no more than the value of one weeks’ rent) to secure the property, and it should be refunded (some exceptions do apply, though).

Rent
Tenancy Deposit

You are only allowed to be charged a maximum of 5 weeks’ rent for the deposit.

Council Tax

If you’re a HMO tenant, then your monthly rent will most likely include council tax.

Gas & Electricity

If you’re a HMO tenant, then your monthly rent will most likely include utility bills.

Water

If you’re a HMO tenant, then your monthly rent will most likely include utility bills.

Internet / Broadband

If you’re a HMO tenant, then your monthly rent will most likely include internet.

TV License
TV Services (Netflix, Sky Digital etc.)
Tenants Contents Insurance

Generally speaking, your landlord will have buildings insurance, but they won’t have an insurance policy that will cover your personal possessions against damage or theft, so you should get your own Tenants Contents Insurance. You can get some competitive quotes from City Landlord.

Penalties

Landlords are entitled to enforce certain penalties, which can include late rent, replacement of a lost key/security device, or ending a tenancy early.

Damages

Any damages caused that doesn’t include wear & tear will be deducted from your deposit. If the damage caused exceeds the deposit amount, you may have to pay extra.

End of tenancy cleaning

Tenants are always obligated to return the property in the state in which they received the property, but many tenancy agreements have a clause which stipulates that a professional end of tenancy cleaning service is required.

As said, I’ve only covered fees the average tenant in England & Wales pay when renting (at least, from my experience). There might be instances where other circumstantial fees impact your specific case. However, hopefully my breakdown will provide prospective tenants a good starting point to asist in determining how much renting will approximately cost.

If you’ve had to cough up other costs as a tenant, I’d love to hear which ones. You can drop a comment in my Tenant Fees Act blog post with your feedback.

Happy renting!

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