ARLA Propertymark is urging agents across England and Wales to ensure they have every preparation in place for the arrival of the Tenant Fees ban.
In England it comes into place at the end of next week on June 1; in Wales a roughly similar measure takes effect from September 1.
For England, ARLA’s chief executive David Cox says: “It’s the biggest change to hit the lettings industry in decades and agents must be prepared. To help members get ready, we will be hosting a webinar on [Wednesday] May 22 to answer any final questions agents may have about the technicalities of the legislation. Members can receive further support by referring back to the Tenant Fees Toolkit launched last month and can also attend the last of the tenant fees roadshows in Exeter on May 30.”
In Wales the Renting Homes (Fees Etc) (Wales) Act 2019 has received Royal Assent and now passes into law, and from September letting agents and landlords will not be able to require tenants to make a payment if it is not listed as a Permitted Payment in the Act.
Agents will only be permitted to charge tenants for rent, a security deposit, a holding deposit, default fees, utilities, council tax, a television licence, and telecoms services.
Further guidance from the Welsh Government should be published imminently - but the legislation does not specify a cap on security deposits or default fees.
David Cox’s message to agents in Wales - where the private rental sector is around 13 per cent of all households - is: “The experience that agents operating in other parts of the UK are currently going through demonstrates that this is a highly complex area with many areas of uncertainty and agents need to draw on the support of their professional body.”