A recent report revealed that landlords and agents are still confused by the tenant fees ban, which was introduced over five months ago. To add to the complexity, those landlords and agents who operate across both England and Wales have two different sets of regulations to contend with.
To help explain the differences between the Tenant Fees Act 2019 in England and the Renting Homes (Fees Etc.) (Wales) Act 2019, which came into force in Wales in September, the long-established government-approved tenancy deposit protection provider, Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), in conjunction with ARLA Propertymark, has published an easy-to-understand matrix for landlords and agents.
“We created the matrix to highlight the most important points of the legislation in a simple, visual way, to show how the two Acts differ in England and Wales,” commented Debbie Davies, who heads up communications at TDS.
The matrix breaks both fees bans down into sections that cover holding deposits, security deposits, check-in/out fees, early termination, rent arrears and late payments, lost keys, breach of responsibilities, agreement amendments, and the contentious issue of pet deposits.
To coincide with the introduction of the tenant fees ban in Wales, TDS opened a new office in Cardiff to offer further on-the-ground support to local landlords and letting agents. They are the only government-approved tenancy deposit provider with a branch in Wales.
“Having a physical presence in both England and Wales has put us in a unique position where we can see how the two markets have reacted to the legislation on both sides of the bridge – and the difficulties each has experienced surrounding the confused messages,” added Debbie.
David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive said: “The tenant fees ban is a complex piece of legislation made worse by virtue of the fact that the bans differ ever so slightly between England and Wales. This handy matrix helps agents operating in both countries to navigate the regulatory minefield and ensure they are complying with the right law”.
Well-known letting agent, Dawsons, who are situated in Swansea, South Wales, recently switched deposits from an acquisition to the TDS Custodial scheme from another provider. They explain how TDS’ understanding of the Welsh market was one of the reasons why they protect their tenancy deposits with TDS: “TDS have a genuine insight into life as a landlord, letting agent and tenant in Wales and, as an organisation, they proactively work in the industry’s interest. TDS has supported us in terms of growth and efficiency at every point in the process, from transition through to deposit protection and end-of-tenancy. It has all been quick, easy and surprisingly simple for our admin team, as well as our landlords and tenants,” explained Ricky Purdy, Director of Lettings at Dawsons Estate and Letting Agents in Wales.