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Welsh fee ban passes into law

Friday 17 May 2019

On 15 May the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill received Royal Assent. It is now an Act and will come into force on 1 September 2019.

The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act will ban most fees charged to tenants. Letting agents and landlords will not be able to require tenants to make a payment if it is not listed as a ‘Permitted Payment’ under the Act.

Permitted Payments are:

  • Rent
  • Security Deposit
  • Holding Deposit (capped at one week’s rent)
  • Default Fees
  • Utilities (electric, gas or other fuel, water, sewerage and Green Deal)
  • Council Tax
  • Television Licence
  • Communication Service

The Act does not currently specify a cap on Security Deposits or Default Fees.

The legislation will apply to Assured Tenancies (including an Assured Shorthold Tenancy or AST) entered into after the legislation comes into force. When the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 comes into force, all new tenancies will be Standard Occupation Contracts. All pre-existing Assured Shorthold Tenancies will also be converted into Standard Occupation Contracts.

Propertymark is expecting further guidance from the Welsh Government to be published imminently.

Commenting on the passing of the Act, David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive: "It is essential that agents get to grips with this legislation and understand the impact on their business, making the preparations that they need well in advance of 1 September. The experience that agents operating in other parts of the UK are currently going through demonstrates that this is a highly complex area with many areas of uncertainty and agents need to draw on the support of their professional body."

Housing Minister and Local Government Minister Julie James AM said: "The private rented sector now accounts for 13% of all housing in Wales. This legislation brings clarity which will help to improve the reputation of the sector overall, and also provide greater confidence that tenants are getting a fair deal. I want private renting to be a positive choice that is accessible to everybody."

 "This important legislation will come into force on September 1 this year, to balance the need for landlords and agents to make adjustments to their business models with the need for these changes to come into force as soon as possible."

Welsh Government’s news story 

Propertymark is developing resources to support members in Wales and the issue will be the focus of the North Wales Regional meeting on 10 June 2019.