Welsh lawmakers are collecting views on proposals to change how letting agents and landlords charge buy to let tenant fees.
They have launched a consultation to find out how much tenants are charged and if the fees are fair as part of the cost of letting a private home.
The Welsh Government also wants to know about fees landlords pay agents and the implications of scrapping letting fees.
“Tenants often have little or no choice in which letting agent they use. Regardless of quality of service, or fee transparency, they will naturally be constrained by location, accommodation type and rental costs when choosing a home to rent. This restricts their options in the private rented market. Landlords, on the other hand, can exercise choice when placing their property with an agent,” says the consultation paper.
The document goes on to highlight a list of fees to landlords and tenants are commonly charged to let a private home and complains charges are hard to compare and are not itemised.
The list of charges includes:
- Fees for accompanied viewings
- The cost of pre-tenancy negotiation and drafting tenancy agreements
- Generating guarantor forms
- Checking references
- Verifying all safety certificates
- Dealing with deposit protection
- Handling move in payments and signing documentation
- Taking an inventory
- Renewing tenancy agreements
- Managing early tenancy terminations
- Supervising moving out
“The Welsh Government believes many of the fees charged to tenants to be unjustified and arbitrary. Fees can act as a barrier to privately-rented housing. In the long run, a failure to address this issue risks making the Private Rented Sector unaffordable for some people. Together with a ban on letting agents’ fees, we propose to include a ban on fees charged to tenants by landlords and third parties”, says the consultation.
The consultation ends on September 27.