ARLA Propertymark and the Residential Landlords Association have written to the Welsh Government seeking a meeting to discuss a possible ban on letting agents’ fees levied on tenants.
The issue of banning letting agent’s fees in Wales was raised again by Assembly Members - the term for Welsh Government MPs - earlier this month when the Welsh Communities Secretary, Carl Sargeant, said: “I’m very concerned that fees charged by letting agents are placing a disproportionate burden on tenants. I hope to be able to announce shortly how we as a government propose to respond.”
In the letter to Sargeant, ARLA Propertymark and the RLA highlighted the significant number of common concerns from both letting agents and landlords – most notably a reduction in the quality of service provided if money is taken away from the sector.
This includes the new legislation brought in by the Welsh Government meaning that landlords and letting agents managing property in Wales must be registered and licensed with Rent Smart Wales.
Furthermore, the organisations say that under Rent Smart Wales if a letting agent fails to comply with the conditions of their licence, which includes clearly advertising their fees to both tenants and landlords, they would put themselves at risk of losing their licence.
Without a licence, they would be unable to continue operating as a letting agent in Wales.
ARLA Propertymark says it will continue to work across the sector to ensure that politicians listen to the industry and follow the evidence.
“We hope that Mr Sargeant will engage with us to understand fully the importance of any future decision around banning fees and the effect this would have on letting agents, landlords and tenants in Wales” ARLA said in a statement.