Important Legislative Changes Affecting Landlords And Agents
11/09/2019 - Watts & Morgan
Important legislative changes affecting landlords and agents
A new Welsh Government law which aims to make things simpler and fairer for tenants came into force on Sunday 1 September.
Under the Renting Homes (Wales) (Fees etc.) Act 2019, it is now an offence to charge a tenant any payment that is not specified as a ‘permitted payment’ by the legislation.
What can I charge?
Letting agents and landlords are now only permitted to require;
- a payment for rent
- security deposits
- holding deposits
- a payment in default (when a tenant breaches a contract)
- and payments related to council tax, utilities, a television licence, or communication services.
It is estimated the law will save tenants, on average, almost £200 per tenancy.
Who does it affect?
The changes only apply to assured shorthold tenancies.
What are the penalties?
Fixed penalty notices of £1,000 may be issued against anyone seeking a prohibited payment. If penalties are not paid, alleged offences can be prosecuted. For serious offences, an enforcement authority could decide to proceed directly to prosecution.
Don't put your licence at risk
Failure to comply with the legislation can lead to financial penalties and may result in your Rent Smart Wales licence revocation. Don't take the risk.
For clarification on the changes and what they mean for you, click here for the latest guidance from Welsh Government.