The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act - which bans fees levied by agents and landlords on tenants - comes into force this Sunday, September 1.
David Cox, ARLA chief executive, says: “Agents should already have implemented the necessary changes within their business in order to be compliant with the law. Members should refer to our Tenant Fees Toolkit Wales for relevant advice, information, and legal documents that have been produced with the ban in mind.”
He adds: “Although the ban has been front of mind for a while, it’s important agents stay up to date with other laws and local licences. A breach of the ban can result in a fine, and license revocation by Rent Smart Wales; so, it’s vital agents get this right.”
The Act means agents and landlords in the principality will no longer be able to charge fees to set up or renew a tenancy in the private rented sector.
The Act makes it an offence to charge a tenant any payment that is not specified as a ‘permitted payment’ - so accompanied viewings, inventories, new contracts or tenancy renewals cannot be charged for.
Fixed penalty notices of up to £1,000 will be issued against anyone charging banned payments and the Welsh Government says renters should on average save over £175 per tenancy.
Agents and landlords will only be allowed to require a payment for rent, security deposits, holding deposits, a payment in default (when a tenant breaches a contract), and payments in respect of council tax, utilities, a television licence, or communication services.