Latest News

Professionals and public warned over rogue agencies

13 December 2019

Three agencies have been expelled from The Property Ombudsman (TPO) for failing to deliver on payments that were instructed by them. Read More...

GE2019 - Party pledges and Propertymark

10 December 2019

Before the political parties finalised their manifestoes for the General Election on 12 December, Propertymark published its own ‘manifesto’ calling on the new Government to regulate and reform the housing sector. How do the major parties’ manifestoes meet Propertymark’s calls on the issues the property industry faces? Read More...

Propertymark and TDS matrix aims to simplify Tenant Fees Ban

10 December 2019

ARLA Propertymark and Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) have created a matrix for landlords and agents to help explain the differences between the Tenant Fees Act 2019 in England and the Renting Homes (Fees Etc.) (Wales) Act 2019, which came into force in Wales in September. Read More...

Changes to Holding Deposit Laws follows Propertymark meeting with Welsh Minister

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. Read More...

Agents given false documents and identities by members of drug ring

05 December 2019

Four men who headed up a drug ring property plot saw ordinary homes turned into illegal cannabis farms after providing false documents and identities to rent out the houses. Read More...

Rent costs hit record high - 2019 trends

04 December 2019

Propertymark has analysed its lettings and sales data to reveal trends from the year. The private rented sector has seen sharp rent increases due to the tenant fees ban, an outflow of landlords from the market, and Brexit uncertainty. Read More...

Clarity on Welsh default fees by the end of 2019

Monday 11 November 2019

The Welsh Government has published a summary of responses to its consultation on default fees and prescribed information. The document outlines that the Welsh Government will introduce two new regulations to amend the Act imminently.

Firstly rules will be introduced by the end of 2019 on what information tenants should be provided with before paying a holding deposit. Secondly, regulation will be put forwarded to provide clarity on default fees in the New Year.

The Renting Homes (Fee etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 came into force on 1 September 2019 banning most fees charged to tenants in the private rented sector in Wales. However, the legislation remains open to further regulatory changes. 

The Act contains a power for the Welsh Government to specify default fees and limits, and also what prescribed information will be provided to tenants before the letting agent or landlord takes a holding deposit.

The Consultation

The consultation on default fees and prescribed information ran from 24th May to 1st July 2019 asking for stakeholder views on making two sets of regulations under paragraph 6 of Schedule 1, and paragraph 11 of Schedule 2, to the Renting Homes (Fees, etc.) (Wales) Act 2019.
The proposed sets of regulations were:
  1. To prescribe the description and the limits of payments in default which are to be regarded as permitted payments.
  2. To specify the information a landlord (or their agent) should provide to a prospective tenant before a holding deposit is taken.

Responses to the Consultation

Earlier this year ARLA Propertymark reported on the consultation outlining our reasons for opposing any ban on tenant fees and made clear in our response to the consultation, that the fees charged by letting agents reflect genuine work involved.
Of the responses received by the Welsh Government, 77 per cent were from individual landlords, and 13 per cent from agents. The report found that:
  • “From the landlord or agents perspective, the broad picture arising from the consultation was that while landlords did not as a matter of course charge for the payments in default set out in the consultation, or indeed for others they mentioned, they did feel that there was a need to be able to charge where the tenant had been at fault and breached the tenancy agreement. Where charges were made these were considered on a case by case basis, depending on the circumstances”
  • “With regards to the information that should be provided ahead of a holding deposit being taken, there was strong support, from landlords and letting agents, for all of the suggested information in the consultation being provided to the tenant, and a feeling from respondents that this would provide a clear basis of understanding for the relationship between the landlord and tenant. There was almost universal approval for this to be provided in a written form as routine.”

Welsh Government Response

In their response to the consultation, the Welsh Government state they will bring forward regulations to:
  • Further describe the default payments which will be considered as permitted payments under the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019. The intention is to provide clarity on what can be charged in respect of certain payments in default and the limits on any such charge. The Welsh Government intends to make these regulations early in the New Year.
  • Prescribe through a clear list, the information a landlord or agent must provide to a tenant before a holding deposit can be taken. This will mean a tenant has the information necessary to make an informed choice before entering into a tenancy agreement and a landlord or agent will be able to make clear where they require action by the tenant. The Welsh government intends to make these regulations before the end of 2019.

Draft regulations will be shared with stakeholders when they are laid before the Welsh Assembly.  Should regulations be agreed by the Assembly, the existing guidance for the Renting Homes (Fees, Etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 will be updated to take account of the changes. ARLA Propertymark continues to engage with the Welsh Government on this matter and will inform members of any update

Propertymark Resources

Propertymark has created a suite of resources – The Tenant Fees Toolkit designed to support members through the biggest challenge facing the lettings industry in Wales for many years. It pulls together resources to help agents through the wide range of scenarios that they are likely to face. 
Listen to a recording of our webinar where David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive gave an update on the Renting Homes (Fees, etc.) (Wales) Act 2019.