Tenant Fee Ban Wales: Update
The Tenant Fee ban in Wales was introduced on the 1st September, however, unlike the English legislation, Wales did not release set default fees, in respect of what agents and landlords can charge tenants, only citing that ‘reasonable costs’ may be charged to the tenant. Following the consultation on default fees and prescribed information, the Welsh Government has now released a time frame on issues that still need to be decided in relation to the tenant fee ban as part of the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019. More importantly, the proposed default fees which are going to be announced early in the new year.
- The Welsh Government will further describe default fees.
- They will also confirm what will be a permitted payment.
- They will confirm any limits on such charges.
The Welsh Government intend to make these regulations early in the New Year.
- The Welsh Government will release and establish a clear list of what information needs to distributed to a tenant prior to the holding deposit being paid.
- Establish what information a landlord or agent must provide to a tenant before a holding deposit can be taken.
- This is to make sure a tenant can make a fully informed decision prior to entering a tenancy agreement.
The Welsh Government intends to make these regulations before the end of 2019.
Feedback from the consultation
- Landlords felt that there was a need to charge a tenant where the tenant had been at fault and breached the tenancy agreement.
- Landlords felt these charges should be decided on a case-by-case basis.
- For charges related to damages, a balance of risk seemed a preferred approach, if it’s tenant/guest fault then tenant takes full responsibility.
- Tenant representative groups felt that default fees could be used to penalise tenants for events beyond their control and believe only late rent and lost keys should be charged.
- Default charges need to be set out clearly in the agreement.
- Majority of tenants groups felt that actual costs were the most appropriate way to ensure fair charges, with no support for administration fees or landlord/agents time being considered.
- Missed appointments should not be considered a default payment due to the fact that tenants could miss appointments, not through faults of their own which they don’t get recompensed for.
- Strong support from all parties about all information being provided to the tenant from the outset, to be provided in written notice as part of a routine.
- Mixed support for providing these documents bilingually.
What happens next?
- Welsh Government will further describe default payments, for what exactly can and can not be charged early next year.
- Welsh Government will confirm a clear list of the information a landlord or agent must provide to a tenant before a holding deposit can be taken.
If you are a landlord or tenant and are concerned about The Tenant Fee Ban, please don’t hesitate to contact us.