Reassurances sought from Welsh Government over introduction of Tenants Fee Bill to Wales
Reassurances have been sought from the Welsh Government by Parkmans that a Tenants Fee Bill will not be introduced in Wales this year as it looks set to be introduced in England and similar legislation already exists in Scotland.
The Welsh Government is currently reviewing responses to its ‘Fees Charged to Tenants in the Private Rented Sector’ consultation and the Westminster Government looks set to implement the Tenants Fees Bill in England later this year.
Charlotte Burles Corbett, Parkmans Managing Director, (pictured) a landlord herself, and member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said, “I have sought assurance from our local Assembly Member that the Tenants Fees Bill proposed for England, will not be considered for implementation here by the Welsh Government. We already have ‘Rent Smart Wales’ in Wales to protect the rights of those that rent properties. My concern is for the majority of landlords that we work with, who try to do their best for their tenants, but will, once again, get caught up in more bureaucracy. Unfortunately, this could also lead to uncertainty for tenants as landlords will be reluctant to give further tenancies to minimise their agency costs. I am keen to work with the Welsh Government, on behalf of private landlords and letting agents, so we are represented fairly in any future proposal discussions.”
England’s draft Tenant Fees Bill proposes to prohibit all payments to lettings agents and landlords (aside from rent, security deposits, holding deposits and tenant default fees), cap deposits and introduce new civil and criminal offences for breaching the ban.
In Wales, the Welsh Government consultation which asked for views on proposals to change the way fees are charged by letting agents, landlords and third parties to tenants in the private rented sector, closed in September 2017 and those views are currently being reviewed. In terms of reforming the private rental sector, the Welsh Government has already gone much further than other parts of the UK in regulating landlords and letting agents through Rent Smart Wales (put in place in 2016 under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014).
Parkmans has over 50 years of experience as specialist Estate & Letting Agents, Property Managers and Insurance Brokers in south east Wales. The company is one of the oldest and best respected in its field, as well as being the largest and busiest practice in the Valleys.