Tenant Fees Competition Winner Shares Story, Shows Exactly Why Fees Needed to Be Banned

On 1st June 2019, tenant fees were banned in England. We’ve always been against charging tenants these unfair fees, so we decided to celebrate with a competition.

Tenants shared their worst tenant fee stories for a chance to win £300 — the average tenant fee before the ban came into force. 

We’ve now chosen a winner. And her story shows exactly why tenant fees needed to be banned. 

Best Competition Entries

Before announcing the randomly-selected winner, let’s look at some of the best entries to the #FeeFreedom competition. From the hilarious to the depressing, here are some of our favourite stories from the dark days before the Tenant Fees Act.


The Competition Winner: Joanne

Joanne lives in Lymington with her husband and their three children. The family moved into their three-bed semi after moving away from London due to how expensive renting is in the capital. 

Joanne’s tenant fees experience is terrible — but also typical. £30 for leaving cleaning products in the property’s utility room when she moved out. It’s so mundane, so arbitrary, and it’s exactly why tenant fees have been banned.

Joanne with husband Christopher

But her wider experience of renting has been tough, too. According to the English Housing Survey, 20% of tenants are unsure about how their landlord has protected their deposits.

Joanne has also experienced another common tenant travail; a landlord evicting her when they wished to sell the property. She has had to move her family several times due to landlords selling. 

“We rely on others to not sell and unfortunately in our many years of renting we have been bitten a few times.” 

But now the fee ban means that Joanne won’t lose money if her landlord sells. 

“I feel wonderful as a tenant. This will save us money in the uncertain world that is renting.”

£2,000 in Fees

Joanne has paid at least £2,000 in tenant fees. But what was the worst thing about fees?

“Definitely the uncertainty of not knowing how much we would pay. This varies hugely amongst agents. We have paid from as little as £280 to as high as £500. 

“The fee ban will make renting a lot more affordable. With buying prices so high, we are stuck in privately rented accommodation for the foreseeable.”

Share Your Fee Stories

Use #FeeFreedom to share your stories from the dark days before the Tenant Fees Act.

Notable Replies

  1. Sam is the prize for the cleaning products story?

  2. Avatar for Sam Sam says:

    The winner was chosen at random from all entrants! Click onto the original post to see the story and the tweets in proper formatting.

  3. Random ok… I liked the one about missing the nail appointment and trying to charge for it Incredible greed!

  4. Unless you are prepared to get both sides of the story then trying to blacken Landlords reputations by just sharing a one sided story is just pointless and ends up in confirmation bias. This is why a judge will hear both sides of the evidence. I could tell equally hair raising stories of tenants about “the wind blew the dirt back into the flat after we cleaned it”!

  5. Avatar for Sam Sam says:

    Hi Emma, this isn’t about blaming landlords. We’re celebrating the fact that tenants won’t be charged unfair fees anymore (fees which were mostly charged by agents, not landlords, anyway).

    Please do I’m sure the landlords on the Community would love to hear it! :slight_smile:

Continue the discussion at community.openrent.co.uk

1 more reply


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This article is not intended to form legal or investment advice. Investments in property are not guaranteed and can decrease in value as well as increase.

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