It’s been revealed that the Welsh version of the Tenants Fees ban will come into effect on September 1.
“Agents need to start preparing for a post-tenant fees world. The Bill will receive Royal Assent in the coming few weeks, before being passed into law and implemented on September 1” explains David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark.
“Over the coming weeks and months, ARLA Propertymark will be launching a Welsh specific Tenant Fees Toolkit, as well as arranging a webinar on the ban and a roadshow for Welsh agents later in the summer, so they fully understand the law before it comes into force.”
The Act will ban tenants from being charged for an accompanied viewing, receiving an inventory, signing a contract, exit fees or renewing a tenancy; it will allow letting agents and landlords to only charge fees relating to rent, security deposits, holding deposits, utilities, communication services, council tax and payments in default.
There will be a cap on holding deposits to the equivalent of one week’s rent.
There will be Fixed Penalty Notices of £1,000 to be issued by Trading Standards against any agent or landlord seeking a banned payment.
If penalties are not paid, enforcement authorities - which encompass local authorities in Wales and the licensing authority, Rent Smart Wales - can prosecute offences through the Magistrates Court.
Convictions for an offence could result in an unlimited fine and will be taken into account by Rent Smart Wales when considering whether to grant or renew a licence.