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Renting Homes (Fees etc.)(Wales) Act 2019

The modest reference to “fees etc.” in the title to the 2019 Act may well be one of the humble acorns which have been planted by the Senedd and, when it comes into force, will grow into a mighty oak in the growing forest of residential tenant protections in Wales.

Working in tandem with the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, which replaces assured shorthold tenancies with ‘occupation contracts’, the 2019 Act imposes significant limits on the ability of residential landlords and their agents to charge letting fees to tenants on the grant, renewal or continuance of a tenancy. It also regulates holding deposit arrangements and gives authorities the power to require landlords and agents provide documents and information to assist with enforcement of the 2019 Act.

In short, the 2019 Act further develops the legislative framework for the protection of residential tenants in Wales. Whilst neither the 2016 Act nor the 2019 Act are currently in force, when the Welsh Ministers do launch the new regime, it will have a significant impact on the landscape of the relationship between landlords, agents and residential tenants.

Key points

  • the Renting Homes (Fees etc.)(Wales) Act 2019 gained Royal Assent on 15 May but is not yet in force
  • from its commencement, the 2019 Act will prohibit landlords and letting agents charging residential tenants any fees unless they are specifically permitted (for example, certain payments are permitted in the event of a tenant’s default)
  • the 2019 Act will form part of the growing body of differentiated Welsh law which will govern the relationship between landlords and their agents and residential tenants