Landlords and letting agents with homes to rent out in Wales face a ban on charging tenants fees.
Welsh Assembly Housing Minister Rebecca Evans has announced she believes tenants should only have to pay their rent and a security deposit on moving in to a private rented home.
The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill will stop landlords and letting agents charging upfront fees to tenants, but will allow them to charge rent, security and holding deposits up to certain levels.
Under the proposed law, landlords could pay a fixed penalty of £500 for breaking the rules, unlimited fines for repeat offences and losing their licence to rent out properties.
Ms Evans said the bill would make the costs of renting a home “more reasonable, affordable and transparent” in market which makes up 15% of all housing in Wales.
She said the measures would build on previous legislation “to ensure that those wishing to rent in the private sector can expect high standards, fair treatment and transparency”.
Convictions for charging upfront letting fees will be considered when deciding if to grant and renew landlord licences.
“Fees charged by letting agents often present a significant barrier to many tenants, especially those on lower incomes,” she said.
“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.”
Under current rules, tenants pay fees for a range of administrative reasons, such as credit searches, reference and immigration checks or accompanied viewings.
The Welsh proposal to limit fees paid by tenants follows a law to ban them in England which is expected to become law in April 2019. Letting fees were banned in Scotland in 2012.