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Parkmans Urges Welsh Assembly to ‘Re-Consider’ the Bill to Ban Tenants Fees

The Welsh Government has been urged to consider enforcement of existing regulation surrounding the private rental sector in Wales rather than introduce new costly measures through the Renting Homes (Fees etc) (Wales) Bill. The call has come from the Managing Director of Parkmans, Charlotte Burles Corbett.

Mrs Burles Corbett gave evidence last week on behalf of RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) to Assembly Members of the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee who were examining the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill.

Charlotte Burles Corbett, a landlord herself, said:

“The private rental sector is a fast-growing sector in Wales (as it is across the UK) with more and more people and families, across the demographics, choosing to stay in rented accommodation, or are dependent on it due to a combination of high (and increasing) house prices, coupled with high rents inhibiting potential to save for a deposit. In these latter cases, it is very much the case that the private rental sector is not regarded as the stop-gap on the housing ladder that it once was.

“The Renting Homes draft Bill proposes to change the way fees are charged by letting agents, landlords and third parties to tenants in the private rented sector. RICS’ argument, however, is that the Welsh Government has already gone much further than other parts of the UK in regulating landlords and letting agents through Rent Smart Wales. Therefore, the solution is to enforce this existing regulation rather than introduce more. We are urging Assembly Members to consider a cap on fees as opposed to an outright ban on professional services provided to tenants.”

The Welsh Government Bill, introduced by Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Housing and Regeneration includes provision for: prohibiting certain payments made in connection with the granting, renewal or continuance of standard occupation contracts and treatment of holding deposits. It is currently at Stage one.

To read the oral evidence provided by RICS, together with the evidence provided from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and the National Approved Lettings Scheme please visit: http://senedd.assembly.wales/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=447&MID=4855