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Welsh government launches new guide on the Welsh tenant fee ban

The Renting Homes (Fees Etc.) (Wales) Act 2019, banning landlords and agents from charging fees to tenants, will come into effect on 1 September 2019 in Wales.

The Act means that from the start of next month, landlords and agents in the principality will no longer be able to charge fees to set up or renew a tenancy in the private rented sector.

The new law will not just mean a ban on letting fees, but also the majority of other upfront fees payable by tenants to rent a property in Wales.

The Act makes it an offence to charge a tenant any payment that is not specified as a ‘permitted payment’ by the legislation. This means tenants cannot be charged for such things as an accompanied viewing, receiving an inventory, signing a contract, or renewing a tenancy.

The Welsh government estimates the Bill will save tenants close to £200 per tenancy.

Landlords and letting agents will only be allowed to require a payment for rent, security deposits, holding deposits, a payment in default (when a tenant breaches a contract), and payments in respect of council tax, utilities, a television licence, or communication services.

To help landlords and agents understand the changes, the Welsh government has issued fee ban guidelines. Here’s a summary:

+ The tenant fee ban only applies to tenancy agreements signed on or after 1 September 2019. For tenancies signed before 1 September 2019 the Act will apply when the term of that tenancy agreement has ended, and a new tenancy agreement is signed.

+ There is currently no cap placed on an amount of deposit the landlord or agent in Wales can accept.

+ A landlord or agent may not ask for a holding deposit of more than one week’s rent.

+ Under the ban a payment in default is a payment required by the landlord or agent arising from a breach of the tenancy agreement by the tenant.

+ A fee cannot be charged for an amendment to an existing tenancy agreement.

+ Where a tenant wants to leave a fixed-term tenancy early, the landlord or agent is fully within their rights to expect to be paid for the entirety of the tenancy. But the Act does not prohibit any agreement that a landlord and tenant may reach should the tenant wish to leave the tenancy early.

Poll: Do you own property in Wales?

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    Overall, the Wales Fee Ban is better than England's although they have rushed into it without the second part of the regulations and prohibited payments caps being announced.

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    Will save the tenant £200, but put £35 per month on the rent, over the 6 month period, and who is the looser? these mugs are unbelievable aren't they?

    Paul Barrett

    Yep they realk seem to believe that LL will accept a reduction in income because of these bonkers policies!
    I do believe that the PTB are so wedded to remaining LL that they wi gang on in there even if income doesn't cover costs and so the LL has to subsidise to remain viable.
    We had a similar scenario where the Govt believed that by reducing HB to the 30th percentile that LL who accepted HB tenants would REDUCE their rents to that lower level.
    Well that stupid idea went well......................NOT!!!
    It must be costing Govt and Councils fortunes in DHP and TA costs
    Wouldn't you know it those pesky LL didn't reduce their rents and evicted tenants who couldn't afford the market rents anymore.
    Anyone surprised!!
    Apart from of course the stupid Govt!!

     
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    Hi Andrew.
    Unfortunately, it is very difficult to put up rents to cover rising costs as the market is driven by affordability here in Wales.
    Even a modest increase, can result in a property being empty for three months or more.

     
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