ARLA and the RLA have written to Carl Sargeant, the Welsh Communities Secretary, to request a meeting about the problem of letting agent fees. They are worried that many letting agents are charging fees that vulnerable tenants cannot afford to pay. They want letting agent fees to be banned, but the Welsh Government has yet to respond to feedback from industry experts.
Tenants Paying the Price for Letting Agent Greed
The issue of banning letting agent fees came up a month ago when Mr Sargeant expressed concern that tenants were carrying a disproportionate burden of fees charged by letting agents.
The letter from ARLA and the Residential Landlords Association highlights a number of concerns, including the fear that money taken away from the private rental sector will inevitably affect the quality of service provided by landlords.
“We hope that Mr Sargeant will engage with us to understand fully the importance of any future decision around banning fees and the effect this would have on letting agents, landlords, and tenants in Wales,” ARLA said.
Concerns about the Rent Smart Wales Scheme
Both bodies have expressed concern about the new Rent Smart Wales legislation, which required that landlords and letting agents must be registered and licenced. The terms of the scheme state that if a letting agent doesn’t clearly advertise their fees, they could lose their licence. If this happens, they will no longer be able to run a letting agents business in Wales.