Landlords will no longer be able to claim excessive fees for minor damage or lost keys when tenants move out of a private rented home.

The move is a much-sought after amendment to the Tenant Fees Bill which bans landlords and letting agents claiming upfront fees at the start of a tenancy.

The government has announced the measure as the bill passes through another stage before coming law in Parliament.

The new rule will ensure landlords have receipts for minor repairs or key replacement before deducting cash from deposits and that they can only claim reasonable costs from tenants.

The move is designed to stop landlords charging for things like smoke alarms, which councils would provide free.

Another amendment will set a shorter time for landlords to repay unlawful fees to their tenants.

Rishi Sunak, the under-secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government, said: “Tenants across the country, whatever their income, should not be hit with unfair costs by agents or landlords.

“This government is determined to make sure our housing market works and this new provision in the Tenant Fees Bill will make renting fairer and more transparent for all.”

The government seems to have dropped at least part of plans for three-year tenancies with the bill.

In a written statement, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire confirmed the proposal was scrapped for social housing, but did not mention private tenancies.

“After listening to social housing residents, we are proposing not to implement the provisions to make fixed term tenancies mandatory for local authority tenants at this time” he said.

“We recognise the benefits of fixed term tenancies in the right circumstances to help social landlords make best use of their housing stock and that flexibility will remain.”