Landlords and letting agents in Wales are now banned from charging certain fees relating to a tenancy.
As of Sunday 1st September 2019, landlords with properties in Wales entering into new tenancies will only be able to charge for:
- Security deposit
- Holding deposit (one weeks rent)
- Payments in default
- Payments in respect of council tax
- Payments in respect of utilities
- Payments in respect of a television licence
- Payments in respect of communication service.
Under the Renting Homes (fees etc) (Wales) Act 2019, the fee ban in Wales will come into force in two parts.
What aspects will come into force later on?
Some aspects of the fees ban in Wales have to be finalised. This includes the matter over default fees, and whether a possible cap will be placed on the amount landlords can charge for a security deposit – currently no cap on this has been set.
It has already been confirmed that holding deposits will be capped at the equivalent of one weeks rent.
Default fees are those fees that landlords charge if a tenant defaults on their contract.
Examples of types of default payments could be (but are not limited to):
- Missed appointments – such as a landlord arranging with a tenant for a contractor to carry out remedial work at a property, and a tenant subsequently refusing entry, or not being home to allow entry, resulting in charges to the landlord.
- Replacement keys – loss of keys by the tenant requiring a landlord to arrange for the cutting of new keys and delivery of those keys to the tenant.
Later this year, the issue of default fees is expected to be debated in the Senedd and this will then become part of the legislation.
Guidance for landlords in Wales on the new legislation
Guidance for landlords in Wales can be found on the Welsh Government’s website here.
It comes three months after the Tenant Fees Act was implemented in England. Guidance on this for landlords can be read on our website here.
RLA campaigning on the fees ban
The RLA has been heavily active in its campaigning around the tenant fees ban in Wales. The association submitted a formal response to the consultation on the bill, and the RLA also met with AMs to discuss the details. RLA Vice Chair and Director for Wales, Douglas Haig also gave evidence on the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill to the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee, in the Senedd, during the early stages, warning it could increase costs for landlords.