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Written Statement - Consultation on fees charged to tenants in the private rented sector

Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children

Today I am launching a formal consultation on legislative proposals to address fees charged to tenants in the private rented sector. The Welsh Government has committed to bringing forward primary legislation and I believe the time has come to ask serious questions about the future ability of anyone to charge fees to tenants when they enter into a tenancy, or indeed during or even after a tenancy.

Fees can cause major problems to people when looking for accommodation. To ask tenants to come up with a tenancy deposit, which is often in excess of a month’s rent, a month’s rent up-front and then also an “administration” fees on top of all of this can cause some a major financial headache, and has the potential to drive people into debt. It can cause problems when people are trying to access a new property in the private rented sector.

I want to know the extent of the fees charged, what those fees cover, and what issues, if any, the removal of the ability to charge these fees to tenants would cause to letting agents, landlords, tenants and any third parties involved in the private rented sector. I encourage everyone involved in the sector to participate in this consultation which will help to inform what fees if any can be  charged in the future.

Following the consultation, I will seek to make legislative changes through a Fees Charged to Tenants Bill.

The consultation is available at: consultations.gov.wales/consultations/fees-charged-tenants-private-rented-sector, and will close on 27 September 2017.

In taking this work forward, the Welsh Government, I want to engage openly and comprehensively and I look forward to engaging constructively with the Assembly as this work progresses.