Over half those who responded to the Welsh government consultation on banning fees charged to tenants in the PRS support the proposals.
More than 680 responded to the consultation, which revealed:
- When fees are charged tenants say, on average, they pay £249.47 to begin a tenancy, £108 to renew a tenancy and £142 at the end of a tenancy
- 62% of tenants said that fees have affected their ability to move into a rented property
- 86% say that fees have affected their decision to use an agent
- 61% of landlords did not know what their tenants were charged by their agent.
The consultation ran last year from July to the end of September. A summary of the responses can be accessed online here
Proposed legislation to ban all payments required of tenants in the PRS
Speaking about the consultation findings, Welsh Housing Minister Rebecca Evans AM said:
“These findings clearly support our proposals to ban fees charged to tenants, and further add to the evidence base that such fees make the Private Rented Sector unaffordable and inaccessible for a substantial number of tenants.
“I will shortly bring forward legislation to ban all payments required of tenants in the Private Rented sector, with limited exceptions stated on the face of the Bill. Anyone requiring a banned payment as part of the tenancy will be committing an offence. It will be important that the ban on fees to tenants is enforced. Consequently, any person charging a prohibited payment will be subject to enforcement action.”
The RLA view
The RLA believes banning fees paid to agents by tenants will not make renting cheaper.
Research from the RLA found that more than half of letting agents questioned, 57% plan to cope with the proposed tenant fee ban by increasing the fees landlords pay.
This raises the prospect of the extra costs being passed on to tenants in higher rents over the long term.