Date Set for Start of Tenant Fee Ban in Wales

The new law banning landlords and letting agents from charging private renters fees to start or renew a tenancy agreement will start in Wales from September 1 2019. 

Under the rules, landlords and letting agents can only make a limited number of charges to tenants, such as rent, security and holding deposits, fees for breach of contract, utilities and council tax. 

The ban follows similar legislation in England that starts from June 1. Letting fees were banned in Scotland two years ago. 

The Welsh Government hopes scrapping fees will save tenants up to £200 when they rent a home. The law is timed to stop landlords and letting agents charging students high fees before the start of the new academic year.

Housing Minister and Local Government Minister Julie James said:  “The private rented sector now accounts for 13% of all housing in Wales. This legislation brings clarity which will help to improve the reputation of the sector overall, and provide greater confidence that tenants are getting a fair deal. I want private renting to be a positive choice that is accessible to everybody. 

“This important legislation will come into force on September 1 this year, to balance the need for landlords and agents to make adjustments to their business models with the need for these changes to come into force as soon as possible.”

The Welsh Government is expected to publish guidance about the new rules for landlords and letting agents.

David Cox, chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, the trade body for letting agents, said: "It is essential that agents get to grips with this legislation and understand the impact on their business, making the preparations that they need well in advance of September 1. The experience that agents operating in England are currently going through demonstrates that this is a highly complex area with many areas of uncertainty.”

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Contract Fees

The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 commenced on 1 September 2019 and banned most tenant fees in Wales.