Written by Tom Fenard, Senior Negotiator at Four Walls Online:

With so many reports and new legislation being developed by The Government – there are many important changes to keep abreast of within the rental property sector – and headline news at the moment is the Lettings Fee Ban Bill. On Friday, ARLA published this helpful summary sharing the latest update with all it’s accredited Agents:

“On 7 April 2017, the Government launched an eight week consultation seeking views on the detail of how a ban should be introduced. The consultation closed on 2 June and 4,724 responses were received from a range of individuals and representative bodies. 50% of responses were from tenants, 32% were from letting agents, 10% were from landlords and 8% were from other interested stakeholders.”

As you might expect:

  • 95% of Tenants are in favour of the ban on lettings fees by Landlords and third parties;
  • 75% of Landlords are not in favour of the ban; 20% of which suggested they would remove rented properties from the market should the ban take place;
  • 73% of Agents do not agree with the ban and many are concerned about Landlords choosing to self-manage rather than using an Agent which could lead to deterioration in standards for Tenants.

As it stands, the Bill will have to go through several readings in both houses before it gets passed into law.

In this intervening period, as an ARLA accredited Agent, our commitment to landlords and tenants is to follow ARLA’s advice and continue to offer:

  1. Transparent Charges – displaying all lettings agent fees that are chargeable to Tenants and Landlords.
  2. Deposits protected by DPS – registering all bonds with the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme to ensure end of tenancy terms/negotiations are fair and just.
  3. Up to date processes and procedures – in line with legislation to ensure Tenants and Landlords are fully informed at all times.
  4. Strict compliance with Rent Smart Wales – adhering to all codes of conduct and driving best practice at all times.
  5. Support for Landlords AND Tenants– to ensure rental properties are fit for purpose and the investment is properly protected, whilst Tenants are treated fairly, their safety is protected, and they enjoy their rental experience.
  6. Lobbying of interested bodies – where possible, to influence the Bill so that it’s in the best interest of Tenants and Landlords.

There is still time to influence the Bill by getting in touch with your local MP – and if you have any questions or concerns about what the Lettings Fee Ban will mean to you as a Tenant, or as a Landlord, simply get in touch.