More than half of consultation respondents support banning fees charged to tenants in the private rented sector, Housing and Regeneration Minister Rebecca Evans says.
Last year, the Welsh Government consulted on proposals to change the way fees are charged by letting agents , landlords and third parties to tenants in the private rented sector, following concerns raised by former Cabinet Secretary for Communities Carl Sargeant.
More than half of those who responded to the consultation, including a significant number of landlords, agreed that unnecessary fees should be banned.
The consultation found that there is a broad range in the level of fees that tenants are charged by agents – fees reported by tenants ranged between £50 and £1,700 just for entering into an agreement.
Key consultation findings include:
- 56% of all respondents agreed with an outright ban on unnecessary fees
- When fees are charged, tenants say that, on average, they are charged £249.47 to begin a tenancy, £108 to renew a tenancy and £142 at the end of a tenancy
- 62% of tenants said that fees have affected their ability to move into a rented property, while 86% say that fees have affected their decision to use an agent
- 61% of landlords did not know what their tenants were charged by their agent.
Rebecca Evans said:
More than 680 individuals and organisations responded to the consultation and a summary of those responses are being published today.
“We received an extremely high number of responses to the consultation and I believe that this reflects the strength of feeling on this issue. Some of the fees tenants currently pay up-front are eye-watering and are affecting their ability to move into or within the private rented sector.
“I am keen to work closely with tenants, landlords and letting agents to ensure that the costs people face are reasonable, enabling them easier access to private rented accommodation. I am also seeking opportunities to work with private landlords and agents to improve and modernise the sector for everyone involved.
“Private rented accommodation is a growing part of the housing sector in Wales accounting for around 15% of all dwellings, and I want it to be a secure and attractive option.
“I have already announced my intention to bring forward a Bill which bans fees in the private rented sector. The findings from this consultation add to the evidence that action is needed to address the fees currently charged to tenants. I will now finalise these legislative proposals and introduce a Bill to the Assembly later this year.”