Britain will soon have a blanket ban on charging private renters fees to move into buy to let homes.
Scotland has had a ban on fees since 2012.
A draft bill has been published at Westminster stretching the ban across England from some time after April 2019. Now, policymakers at the Welsh Assembly have signalled a similar draft bill is on the way after hinting the law would change in February.
After the bill is published, the Assembly’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee will carry out a consultation looking at how the ban might impact the lettings industry. Views on how the ban will work differ depending on who gives an opinion.
The Welsh assembly has set no date for publishing the bill.
Tenants are largely in favour of the ban as they save hundreds of pounds paid out in fees. Housing charity Shelter argues landlords in Scotland increased rents because of ‘economic factors’ rather letting agents charging them more fees when the ban started in 2012.
“Although some landlords and commentators presume that the ban on fees must have inevitably driven an increase in rents, the evidence suggests that, if this has occurred at all, the increase is small and short-lived,” says the report.
However, Mitchell Thomson, of buy to let credit reporting service UKtenantdata, said: “One immediate effect of the fees ban was that rents increased by 4.3% between January 2013 to January 2014 – the period immediately following the fees ban. They had been relatively static for the previous 12 months.”