The Tenant Fees Ban in Wales

August 26, 2019

WalesTenant fees have been banned in England since 1 June 2019. But what about Wales?

Housing legislation is devolved now to the Welsh Assembly and the laws in England and Wales are gradually moving apart.

Housing Law in Wales is already starting to look significantly different with recent changes in the English laws not applying to Welsh properties.  However the gap is due to widen considerably further when the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 comes into force – believed to be some time in 2021.

In the meantime the Welsh have brought in changes to tenant fees (in the snappily named Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019).

However the current rules are bound to change again when the Renting Homes legislation finally comes into force (the legislation provides for further amending regulations to be made) and so in a way this is a stop gap measure.

However it will be coming into force on 1 September so let’s take a look at it.

How the Welsh rules differ from the English

Although the Welsh fees legislation is similar to the English in many ways, it does differ significantly in others – which will make life difficult for those unfortunate landlords and agents managing properties in both countries.

Here are some of those differences:

  • The English system applies also to residential licenses but the Welsh system only applies to ASTs
  • The 5 (or 6) week limit for deposits does not apply in Wales
  • The allowable £50 fee for amending the tenancy agreement or changing sharers does not apply in Wales – where landlords cannot charge any fees
  • The Welsh rules currently allow more ‘default’ payments to be charged (although this may change)

Landlord Law members will find a fuller list here.

However both systems

  • Prohibit all fees which are not specifically allowed
  • Permit landlords to charge rent (!)
  • Allow landlords to charge for Council tax, utilities, TV licenses and ‘communication services’
  • Have similar rules for holding deposits

The Landlord Law Service

The Tenant Fees Act page now has a separate section for Wales and you will find there links to all the Welsh content – I have done several new FAQ looking at Welsh fees.

I have also now done a new set of Welsh tenancy agreements.  One of these is currently online and the rest will go online shortly.

Note that from 1 September the new rules come into force.  There is no transition period as such but landlords can still charge fees set out in tenancy agreements signed before then.

Periodic tenancies

It is believed that as under the legislation a statutory periodic tenancy is a new tenancy, this would be caught by the ban.

However this may not apply to contractual periodic tenancies (such as where the landlord has used a Landlord Law tenancy agreement) as they are deemed to be a continuation of the previous tenancy.

Find out more about the Welsh tenancy agreements aat #landlordlaw

Not a Landlord Law member?  Find out more here.
Important – please check the date of the post above.  Remember if it is an old post, the law may have changed since it was written.
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