We have today added some new forms and templates in relation to the handling of “holding deposits” in Wales under the new Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 which commences from 1 September 2019.
Important: the Fees Act allows the Welsh Government to require “prescribed information” to be given when a holding deposit is paid. At the time of writing, no such prescribed information has been made by regulations. Therefore, these forms and templates could change quickly if regulations are issued outlining what prescribed information must be given. If this happens, the prescribed information will likely replace the receipt for holding deposit or it may need to be added. We will have to wait and see. If no prescribed information is published, the documents are fine to use in their current form.
A holding deposit is an amount which is taken before the granting of an assured shorthold tenancy and is paid for the purpose of reserving a right of first refusal in relation to the granting of the contract, subject to suitability checks to be carried out as to the prospective contract-holder and agreement between the parties to enter into the contract.
The forms added hope to simplify the procedure in particular, you should find the receipt for a holding deposit particularly useful as it acts as not just a receipt but also an agreement about how the holding deposit will be handled and the deadline for agreement can be changed within the form.
The letters about retaining the holding deposit aren’t a legal requirement (they are in England but not Wales) but should nonetheless prove useful.
The forms and their respective links are as follows:
- Receipt for holding deposit
- Letter that retaining holding deposit due to false or misleading information
- Letter that retaining holding deposit due to the tenant not proceeding
- Letter Informing Not Return Holding Deposit – Reasonable Steps to Grant Tenancy
- Letter Returning Holding Deposit in Full – No Tenancy Granted
In addition to the above forms, we have updated with a few small changes our detailed article on understanding the Fees Act in Wales.
In case you hadn’t seen, there has been official guidance published in relation to the tenant fees ban in Wales.