From September, Landlords and lettings agents in Wales will be banned from charging their tenants fees for viewing a property to let, for signing a tenancy agreement or for renewing it, reported the BBC on the 9th of April.
The law was passed by the Welsh Assembly earlier this year, but enforcement will not begin until the Autumn, to coincide with the start of the new academic year when students in Wales will be moving into their new lodgings.
The Assembly argued that the new legislation banning such fees could save tenants up to £200 a year, although the Residential Landlords Association in Wales warned that the prohibition may lead to an inevitable rise in rent levels.
Under the new rules, landlords in the principality may continue to levy charges for rent (of course), holding deposits, security deposits, payments for a tenant’s breach of contract, and payments for utilities and communication services, television licences, and council tax.
The Welsh legislation echoes the change in English law on which we reported on the 15th of February, and which comes into effect on the 1st of June, banning landlords and lettings agents from charging similar tenants’ fees.
In that instance, the government also argued that the ban would save the average tenant £70 a year and that the monies raised through financial penalties on those landlords and agents in breach of the rules would be used to help enforce other housing rules and regulations.