The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Holding Deposits) (Specified Information) (Wales) Regulations 2019
10 Dec 2019 Agents   General   Landlords  

The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Holding Deposits) (Specified Information) (Wales) Regulations 2019

The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Specified Information) (Wales) Regulations 2019 (“the Regulations”) were laid on 15 November, with a coming into force date of 13 December 2019.

An 8 week public consultation on the Regulations was carried out between 24 May and 19 July 2019. Since the Regulations were laid, the Minister for Housing and Local Government received correspondence from landlords, agents and representative bodies outlining concerns they had regarding the Regulations.

The Regulations specify information which must be provided to a prospective contract-holder by a landlord and if instructed their letting agent, before a holding deposit is taken. The concerns were firstly, the length of time that landlords and letting agents would have in order to implement any changes as a result of the Regulations. The second concern was the landlord having to provide an address ahead of a holding deposit being taken from a contract-holder.

The Minister for Housing and Local Government considered the concerns carefully, and decided to address these concerns by revoking the Regulations and relaying them under The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Holding Deposit) (Specified Information) (Wales) Regulations 2019 (the “Replacement Regulations”).

The purpose of introducing the original Regulations remains. A prospective contract-holder is not required to provide a holding deposit unless specified information has been provided to them in advance. This allows prospective tenants to make an informed choice about whether a tenancy is suitable before making a financial commitment.

The regulations have been amended to specify that the contact details will be required to be provided by the landlord and/or agent. This will prevent a landlord from having to provide a home address to a prospective-tenant before a holding deposit is taken; especially relevant where their property is being managed by an agent; where only the agent’s contact details will be required.

The Minister for Housing and Local Government recognises that implementing the Regulations will take time for some organisations; especially where they have to update paperwork and processes. We want these processes to be robust for tenants, to ensure they are provided with the right information, at the right time to allow them to make an informed decision on a prospective tenancy. Stakeholders needed additional notice to make these necessary changes.

As such, the coming into force date of the Replacement Regulations has been amended to 28 February 2020 to provide further advanced notice to stakeholders. Unless the regulations are annulled by the Assembly the full provisions will come into force on 28 February 2020.