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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

March date for next Fees Ban debate by Welsh parliament

March 19 has been set as the next date for the Welsh equivalent of the Tenant Fees Ban Bill to be debated in the devolved assembly in Cardiff.

Under the Renting Homes (Fees etc) (Wales) Bill, letting agents in the principality will be allowed to charge only rent, a security deposit and a holding deposit - and both of those deposits are likely to be capped.

There has been a delay to the Bill’s progress as the former minister Rebecca Evans has been replaced by Julie James, the new Minister for Housing and Local Government.

It is thought likely that the ban will become law in September this year, some months after the ban comes into effect in England.

Both the Association of Residential Letting Agents and the Residential Landlords Association have gone on record to oppose the measure.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, says “We do not believe the Bill will achieve its aims, as our own research demonstrated that tenants will end up worse off and banning fees will not result in a more affordable private rented sector. We’ll be liaising with the Welsh Government to ensure they understand the consequences of what ban will entail and how it will negatively impact all those involved in the private rented sector.”

The RLA’s director for Wales, Douglas Haig, says: “Ultimately it will increase the pressure on the most vulnerable in Wales as they will no longer get the assistance from agents to obtain a tenancy. It will also shift costs onto long term tenants who have enjoyed incredibly low rent rises way below inflation for many years.

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