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Changes to Holding Deposit Laws follows Propertymark meeting with Welsh Minister

Monday 09 December 2019

On 4 December, David Cox, Chief Executive, ARLA Propertymark and Board Member for Wales, Angela Davey, met with the Welsh Housing Minister, Julie James AM, to explain the massive difficulties agents face when Governments give the industry very little notice of changes in legislation. The Minister has now extended the date the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Specified Information) (Wales) Regulations 2019 will come into force to 28 February 2020.

The Minister fully appreciated the points and stated unequivocally that she wanted to work with professional agents and had no intention of putting agents in the difficult position of not having enough time to properly prepare for new laws before they are implemented.

The purpose of introducing the Holding Deposit rules remains the same. A prospective tenant is not required to provide a Holding Deposit unless specified information has been provided to them in advance. However, the regulations have also been amended to specify that the contact details will be required to be provided by the landlord and/or agent. This will prevent a landlord from having to provide a home address to a prospective tenant before a holding deposit is taken; especially relevant where their property is being managed by an agent; where only the agent’s contact details will be required.

The following information must be provided to a prospective tenant:

  • amount of Holding Deposit
  • the dwelling in respect of which the deposit is paid
  • name, address, telephone number and any email address of the letting agent or landlord where self-managing
  • nature and duration of the contract
  • proposed occupation date
  • amount of rent or other consideration
  • rental period
  • any proposed additional contract terms or proposed modifications or exclusions to fundamental or supplementary terms
  • amount of any Security Deposit
  • whether a guarantor is required and, if so, any relevant conditions
  • reference checks the landlord or letting agent will undertake
  • what the landlord or letting agent requires from the prospective tenant

Information the landlord or letting agent requires from the prospective contract-holder. The information must be provided to a prospective contract-holder in writing and may be given in person or sent either by post or provided by electronic means if the prospective contract-holder consents to receive it electronically.