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Wales tenants fee ban to be discussed

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A possible ban on tenants fees charged by landlords and agents in Wales has been pushed back to the 19th of this month, according to the Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA).

As we reported on the 15th of February, just such a ban in England was given effect when it received Royal Assent on the 12th of last month and will come into force on the 1st of June.

The parallel Renting Homes Wales (fees etc) Bill was originally due to have been debated by the Welsh Senedd on the 15th of January. By delaying it until the 19th of March, a number of amendments have been tabled – and not all of these have been welcomed by the RLA (which unreservedly backed the changes to the law in England).

The RLA is worried about the Welsh plans to increase fixed penalty notices from £500 to £1,000, the ban on landlords keeping a tenant’s holding deposit even when the latter is legally barred from renting a home under the Immigration Act, and provisions banning landlords from evicting a tenant if tenants’ fees have been received not only by the landlord but by “any other person”

The RLA wants to remove the punishment of landlords for the actions of third parties (“any other person”), the receipt of holding deposits from tenants who have no right to rent under the Immigration Act, and the introduction of a two-tier scale of fines – one for letting agents and the other for landlords.