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Fees charged in private rental sector to be banned in Wales under new law

Credit: PA

Some fees charged in the private renting sector are to be banned under a new Welsh Government Bill.

The Renting Homes Bill will ban fees charged for a viewing properties, receiving an inventory, signing a contract or renewing a tenancy. Under the new rules letting agents will only be able to charge fees relating to rent, security deposits or when a tenant breaches a contract.

Anyone in breach of the new rules could be fined.

Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans says the changes will make things fairer for tenants.

In recent years we have seen a significant increase in the number of people renting in Wales. The private rented sector now accounts for 15% of all housing.

This Bill builds on the work we have already done here in Wales through the Housing and Renting Homes Acts to ensure that those wishing to rent in the private sector can expect high standards, fair treatment and transparency.

Fees charged by letting agents often present a significant barrier to many tenants, especially those on lower incomes.

The Bill will mean that tenants no longer face significant upfront fees when they start renting. In most instances they will only need to pay their monthly rent and a security deposit.

No longer will tenants be charged for an accompanied viewing, receiving an inventory or signing a contract. No longer will they be charged for renewing a tenancy. And no longer will they have to pay check out fees when they move out.

I want renting to be a positive and widely accessible choice for people and this Bill will ensure that rental costs become more reasonable, affordable and transparent.

– Rebecca Evans AM, Housing and Regeneration Minister