The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Holding Deposit) (Specified Information) (Wales) Regulations 2019 have been laid in the National Assembly for Wales and assuming go through, they will commence from 28 February 2020.
The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Specified Information) (Wales) Regulations 2019 are revoked from 10 December 2019.
Under the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019, a holding deposit of up to one weeks rent is a permitted payment. However, under the Act, there is provision for specified information to be provided to the prospective tenant before a holding deposit is received by the landlord or agent. These regulations provide this specified information.
For any holding deposit received before 28 February 2019, no information requirements apply.
Firstly it’s important to stress again the before element of this legislation. The information described in the regulations must be given to the prospective tenant before any holding deposit is received.
The regulations provide the following information must be given:
- amount of holding deposit (which is limited to no more than one weeks rent)
- address of the dwelling in respect of which the deposit is paid,
- where a holding deposit is to be paid to a letting agent, the name and contact details of that letting agent,
- where a holding deposit is to be paid to a landlord, the name and contact details of that landlord,
- duration of the contract
- proposed occupation date
- amount of rent or other consideration
- rental period
- any proposed additional contract terms or proposed modifications to fundamental or supplementary terms or terms proposed to be omitted from the contract,
- amount of any security deposit
- whether a guarantor is required and, if so, any relevant conditions
- reference checks the landlord (or letting agent) will undertake
- information the landlord or letting agent requires from the prospective contract-holder
This is going to be one big form!!
It seems to us at first glance, a draft of the tenancy agreement is to be given because it says we must provide any proposed additional contract terms or proposed modifications to fundamental or supplementary terms or terms proposed to be omitted from the contract. Currently, additional, fundamental or supplementary terms don’t apply as they only apply to occupation contracts when the rules about tenancies change in Wales. Therefore, it’s probably not essential immediately but this will be a consideration for the future.
Furthermore, a copy of the application form or extensive details as to questions being asked provided is also going to be needed because the regulations require that we provide:
information the landlord or letting agent requires from the prospective contract-holder
In respect of how we give the information outlined above, it may only be given in person or, if consent is first obtained, it can be sent electronically:
The information must be provided to a prospective contract-holder in writing and may be given in person or provided by electronic means if the prospective contract-holder consents to receiving it electronically.
Clearly providing all this electronically is going to be the preferred method but how do we get consent before we give the information?
The normal procedure is a tenant will enquire to arrange a viewing. A viewing is held and they will contact by email or telephone expressing an interest. Before we give all this information, we’re going to need an extra step to gain consent to provide electronically and if they don’t respond, it will need to be given in person or by post.
Our form has been updated and can be downloaded here. We are also working on a package which will include an online portal for receiving a holding deposit and will include all this information before any holding deposit is received.
If a holding deposit has been received but all the information outlined above has not been provided, the holding deposit will have to be repaid to the tenant even where the tenant decides not to take a tenancy or the landlord/agent has made all reasonable attempts to get a contract signed but the tenant failed to do so (except where the tenant provides false information).