Wales has followed England and Scotland’s example and banned tenant fees.
The decision was taken last night at 7pm during a vote in the Welsh Assembly when the Renting Homes (Fees etc (Wales)) Bill passed its final legislative stage, ten months after it was introduced into the assembly.
The country’s fees ban will now go live approximately three months after the English one goes live on June 1st.
“The Welsh tenant fees ban is now an inevitability, and agents working in Wales need to continue with their preparations for a post-tenant fees world,” says David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA (left).
Much like the English version, the Welsh ban prevents tenants from being charged for anything other than rent, security deposits, holding deposits, utilities, communication services, council tax and default fees.
Late amendments to the bill have given both local housing authorities and Rent Smart Wales the ability to enforce the bill’s measures, and letting agents will also be permitted to charge tenants Green Deal fees as part of permitted utility payments.
Other banned items include exit fees but not if tenants surrender or leave their tenancy early. Holding deposits are being capped at one week’s rent, and once it’s paid letting agents must cease all advertising of the property.
Also, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 has been amended to prevent a tenant being evicted if a prohibited payment has been charged and then not refunded.
“The Bill rebalances the relationship between tenant, agent and landlord, removing any doubt about which costs need to be budgeted for when renting,” says Wales’ Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James.