Landlords and letting agents in Wales will soon be restricted in their ability to charge fees to tenants of privately rented residential properties.
The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 follows similar legislation which was introduced in England from June 2019. The Welsh Government plans for them to come into force on 1 September 2019.
What can a landlord charge when this legislation takes effect?
Examples of charges that will be limited include:
- Security deposits;
- Holding deposits;
- Payments in the event of default; and
- Payments for utilities.
Any other payment required as a condition of the grant, renewal or continuance of the occupation contract will be prohibited.
What can happen if the rules are ignored?
- A prohibited payment term in an occupation agreement will be non-binding;
- A landlord/letting agent who requires a prohibited payment will be liable on summary conviction to a fine, or a fixed penalty notice of £1,000;
- The landlord's ability to terminate the occupation contract will be restricted.
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Therefore, at the same time as Parliament has been working on the Tenant Fees Act, the Welsh Assembly has been working on its own equivalent, the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019. This Act was given its Royal Assent, becoming law, on 15 May 2019 but it is not planned to come into force until 1 September 2019. In some ways the Welsh legislation mirrors that in England but in others it is distinctly different.