The snappily named Renting Homes (Fees etc) (Wales) Act 2019 (Transitional Provision for Assured Shorthold Tenancies) Regulation 2019 was published on 22 July 2019 so as to bring Parts 1 to 5 and Part 7 of the Renting Homes (Fees etc) (Wales) Act 2019 (RH(Fe)(W)A 2019) into force from 1 September 2019.
Among the provisions being enacted on 1 September 2019 are the following:-
- A landlord is restricted from giving notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 if they have required a prohibited payment and, having been made, that payment has not been returned;
- Landlords, letting agents and other will be prohibited from taking payment as consideration for the grant, renewal or continuance of a standard occupation contract; and
- Only those payments permitted under Schedule 1 of the RH(Fe)(W)A 2019 will be permitted.
The Regulations will not apply to cross-border properties.
On 19 March 2019, the legislation that will ban most fees to tenants in Wales passed Stage 3 of legislative proceedings in the Welsh Assembly. The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill was introduced by the Welsh Government in June 2018. The Bill will make it an offence to require a tenant, or contract-holder to make any payment that is not specified as a ‘permitted payment’ in the legislation. This includes the administration involved in creating or renewing an occupation-contract, check out fees, conducting property viewings and reference checks.