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Welsh tenant fees ban to become law in September, First Minister reveals

Mark Drakeford confirms 'very likely' date for legislation to go live during meeting at student's union in Cardiff.

Nigel Lewis

A senior politician in Wales has revealed that its tenant fees ban is likely to become law this September.

First Minister Mark Drakeford revealed the information during a meeting of 400 people at Cardiff University Students’ Union to discuss letting agents’ fees, wages and living standards in Wales.

The meeting heard from the president of the students union, Fadhila Al Dhahouri (left) from Oman, who is studying genetics at the university.

She revealed that in her fifth year she moved into private rented accommodation and was asked by the property’s managing agent to pay a £2,150 deposit. But because her family in Oman are not wealthy and her sole source of funds is a meagre scholarship, Fadhila was forced to eat just rice for a year and cut out all extra-curricular activities.

Drakeford was asked if the Welsh tenant fees ban would be in place before the next academic year starts, and the First Minister said he was confident it would be passed by the Assembly and go live in September.

“I originally thought [tenant fees] were a small thing, but it’s having a large impact,” he told Wales Online.

“If you look at the average wage for a 18 to 20-year-old, they will get paid £5.90. So to make that £200 to pay letting fees, they will have to work 34 hours.”

The fees ban legislation in Wales is three quarters of its way through the Assembly and is expected to be almost identical to legislation due to live in England later this year.

February 8, 2019

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