The Welsh Government has confirmed it intends to bring forward regulations to provide clarity on what landlords will be able to charge in respect of default payments, as part of the Wales fees ban, in the New Year.
The tenant fees ban in Wales was introduced on 1st September 2019.
Unlike the Tenant Fees Act, introduced in England in June, in Wales some matters relating to the fees ban have yet to be finalised.
This includes the matter of payments landlords charge if a tenant defaults on their contract- ‘default fees’. A consultation on this was held earlier this year, which the Welsh Government has now published the responses to.
The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 consultation looked at regulation relating to default fees and prescribed information for holding deposits in the private rented sector.
Publishing its response to this consultation, the Welsh Government also confirmed that it intends to bring forward regulations to prescribe through a clear list, the information a landlord or agent must provide to a tenant before a holding deposit can be taken. It is intended that these regulations are made before the end of 2019.
The majority of the responses to this consultation were from individual landlords (77%) and agents (13%). Only 3% of the overall responses were from individual tenants.
In the RLA’s response, the association urged the Welsh Government to consider that default payments should cover the actual financial loss AND the loss of the landlord’s time. You can the RLA’s response in full here.
What happens next?
Draft regulations will be laid before the Assembly and will be shared with stakeholders at that time. 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. The RLA will update members when any changes occur.
It is important to note that unlike the Tenant Fees Act, the Wales fees ban does not have a transition period, so it applies as soon as a new tenancy is created. The Tenant Fees Act will apply to all tenancies from June 2020.
Future Renting Wales
Hear an update on the tenant fees ban in Wales and other key issues affecting the private rented sector at our Future Renting Wales conference taking place on 28th November in Cardiff. Hosted by BBC Wales’ Lucy Owen, hear from a range of expert speakers including the Welsh Housing Minister Julie James AM. Early bird tickets start from £35, book your place today!