New regulations for landlords now in force in Wales

New regulations are now in force for landlords in Wales.  The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Prescribed Limits of Default Payments) (Wales) Regulations 2020 came into force on 28 April and sets the maximum fee that landlords can charge if a tenant defaults on their rental contract.

If a tenant doesn’t pay their rent, the new regulations set a limit on the amount which can be charged.

  • Up to the end of a period of seven days from when the rent is due, zero can be charged.
  • After the end of the period of seven days from due, 3% above the Bank of England base rate may be charged.

The formula for calculating the 3% plus base rate is:

the aggregate of the amounts found by applying, in relation to each day after the due date for which the rent remains unpaid, an annual percentage rate of three per cent above the Bank of England base rate to the amount of rent that remains unpaid at the end of that day.

The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 came into force in Wales on 1 September last year, with the legislation being similar but not identical to the Tenant Fees Act 2019 in England.

In Wales, landlords may now only charge tenants entering into new rental agreements for

  • rent
  • security deposits
  • holding deposits of one weeks rent
  • council tax
  • utilities
  • tv licence payments
  • communication services or
  • payments in default.

Replacement locks and keys

Also with effect from 28 April, if tenants lose their keys and/or need their locks changed, landlords in Wales can only charge them for the actual cost of replacing keys and of changing, adding or removing a lock. They cannot levy an additional service charge for doing so, although they can pass on the charge for a contractor to do the work, as long as evidence of the additional cost is provided in the form of an invoice or receipt.

Landlords who are members of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) can click here for guidance on the differences between the Welsh and English legislation, download a number of fee ban compliant documents, find out what charges can be made under the fee bans and read some practical tips on adapting to the new requirements.

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