Since the introduction of the Renting Homes (Fees Etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 on 1st September 2019 what can and can’t a Cardiff landlord or a letting agent charge a tenant?
The guidance clearly states that a Cardiff landlord or a letting agent can charge a tenant entering an Assured Shorthold Tenancy the following Permitted Payments:
- Security deposit
- Holding deposit
- Payments in default
- Payments in respect of council tax
- Payments in respect of utilities
- Payments in respect of a television licence
- Payments in respect of communication services
- Payment for ending a tenancy agreement early
- Payments for change of sharer
- Payments for amendment to a tenancy agreement
Anything which is not permitted is prohibited and banned by the Act.
The Act classes the following as Prohibited Payments:
- check-in fees
- check-out (or ‘exit’) fees
- administration fees
- inventory fees
- guarantor fees
However, the Act does permit Cardiff landlords and letting agents to charge tenants for Payments in Default, so what is a Payment in Default?
A Payment in Default is a payment required by the landlord or letting agent arising from a breach of the tenancy agreement by the tenant, whether late payment of rent by its due date or some other breach. These are occasions where it would be unfair for the Cardiff landlord or letting agent to be responsible for meeting the cost to them because of the actions of the tenant.
Some examples of types of Default Payments include:
- Missed appointments
- Avoidable or purposeful damage to property
- Replacement keys
- Emergency/out of hours call-out fees
A Payment in Default can only be charged if there is a specific term in the tenancy agreement allowing for such a payment. If a Cardiff landlord or letting agent try to charge a payment in default which was not set out in the tenancy agreement, then that payment is prohibited.
The Renting Homes (Fees Etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 also advices that Welsh Ministers may make regulations to prescribe a list of payments in default which would be permitted payments under the Act, as well as a limit on what is permitted.
So Yes, a Tenant Fee ban was introduced on the 1st September 2019 by the introduction of the Renting Homes (Fees Etc.) (Wales) Act 2019, but with a well drafted AST there are circumstances when a Cardiff landlord or letting agent is within their rights to request a payment for breach of the tenancy agreement by the tenant.
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