Wales Tenant Fee Act Guidance for Landlords and Agents
The Guidance is 20 pages.
Many of the Tenant Fee Ban in England legislation is ‘copied’ – However, there are some significant differences, potentially for the better ( at present ) – Deposits !
Doesn’t apply to tenancies granted before 1/9/2019 ( full stop – no 1 years grace,as In England’s legislation – as long as Not Renewed, as that’s a New Tenancy. )
Everything apart from a ‘Permitted payment’ is banned
Permitted, are ;
Security deposit ( Look at different limits, coming later )
Holding deposit ( same as England )
Payments in default ( potentially a grey area, as there are ‘examples’ of Defaults but not exhaustive. See below.
Television license and
Leaving a Fixed Term early. – Full rent can be charged, or a lesser agreed fee.
Change of Sharer – No fee chargeable
Amended tenancy agreement – No fee.
Agents can receive a ‘Referral fee’ from a third party, such as setting up a Broadband service, But, Tenant must Not be required to take this as a condition of Tenancy.
Rent fluctuations, – must be same each month ( as England – to prevent a disguised charge )
‘ Permitted variations ‘ ? ” a permitted variation is one made by agreement between landlord and tenant, or under a term in the contract providing for a rent variation, or by or as a result of other legislation ( for instance if another Act require a rent variation.
This would be a permitted variation ‘ ” ???
DEPOSITS – Not fixed ! ( page 10 )
‘ average security deposits tend to be around the equivalent of one month to six weeks worth of rent, there may be circumstances which mean that you may wish to take a slightly higher amount of deposit, for example, should a tenant have pets, which may provide you with peace of mind should damages occur due to those pets. It is permissible to ask for a higher amount of deposit in these circumstances.
Excess Security deposit ( if a limit is prescribed by regulations )
Currently there is no limit, but if one is prescribed, anything above will be a prohibited payment.
Tenancy deposit alternatives ( a weeks non-refundable payment is permitted.)
References / Credit checks ;
You may ask a tenant [ prospective , my emphasis ] to provide information that supports you to carry out a reference check, such as ;
A reference from a previous Landlord ( can’t ask for payment for this )
Landlords and Agents can search Bankruptcy and Insolvency register for FREE – Insolvency and Bankruptcy Directory
Landlords can’t charge for a Credit check, BUT Tenants could carry one out themselves, as long as landlord doesn’t specify a particular provider.
Payments in Default. ( Ministers may make regulations prescribing such, at present ; as below ) and it must be in the Tenancy agreement, ( and presumably, Not an Unfair term ? )
‘ There are occasions where it would be unfair for the landlord to be responsible for meeting the cost to them as a result of the actions of the tenants.’
Examples – ( of, not a definitive list )
Avoidable or purposeful damage to property
Emergency Out of Hours call-out fees ( locksmith, glazier etc
Penalties, – Fixed Penalty of £1000 or prosecution – fine up to £2,500 – enforced by L.A’s or Rent Smart Wales.
Tenants can apply to County Court for repayment of a Prohibited payment.
No Section 21 if Prohibited payment taken and not repaid.
Implications for License – Accreditation. RSW can take any Penalty or conviction into account when considering someones fitness to hold a license.
( Anything omitted is pretty much as the England legislation )