The Welsh Housing Minister has claimed that the “vast majority” of people and organisation who contributed to a recent consultation on letting fees in Wales support her government’s proposed tenant fees ban including a “significant number of landlords”. Rebecca Evans, Minister for Housing and Regeneration (pictured), said 700 responses were received from tenants, landlords and letting agents and said early analysis of these responses revealed “strong support for action in this area”. Although a full response to the consultation is not expected until the New Year, the Minister says support for a ban is strong enough for her to reveal that a ban will now go ahead, bringing Wales in line with Scotland and soon, England.
“I have therefore instructed my officials to proceed with plans to develop legislation,” she says.
“Officials will also begin a programme of engagement with stakeholders to share information and help us shape detailed plans about how future legislation would work in practice.”
Tenant fees ban
It would appear that the Minister has not been swayed by ARLA’s postition that a ban would make renting more expensive in the long run, a claim it made in July when a proposed Welsh fees ban was unveiled. “Agents have to make their individual voices heard alongside ARLA Propertymark’s collective response,” ARLA Chief Executive David Cox (pictured, left) said at the time. “Our independent research shows beyond doubt that this legislation would ultimately cost tenants more.” But Rebecca Evans says in her statement that the evidence “supports the view that agents’ and other fees have made the private rented sector unaffordable and inaccessible for some individuals and families”.