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Author: Rent Guarantor

04/12/2019

A list of new regulations for landlords renting homes to tenants in Wales could be put into place by December 13th, this year. The Welsh Assembly has created a new regulation that means landlords must show prospective tenants a pretty lengthy list of requirements before they can request they pay a holding deposit.

While this action could prove useful to tenants, as it stands landlords have only a very short amount of time to adhere to these new rules. This latest change to regulations for landlords renting out residential property in Wales has been through all the correct procedures. However, the Welsh Assembly has given landlords just one month to prepare for these incoming new rules.

What landlords need to know

This new update to regulations for Buy-to-Let landlords operating in Wales is in addition to the Tenant Fees Act that came into force in September 2019. That means, in addition to adhering to those rules, which include limits on how much deposit can be charged and what items letting agents and landlords can charge tenants for, landlords with properties in Wales must follow another set of new rules, too.

From December 13th 2019, landlords must show prospective tenants a list of information about specific details relating to the property and the tenancy, before they can ask for a deposit. The following list is all of the information that must be given to a prospective tenant:

  • How much holding deposit is required.
  • Identify the dwelling and give the exact and full address of the property for which the deposit is paid.
  • Full name, address, telephone number and any e-mail address of the landlord (and if instructed, the letting agent).
  • The specific nature and duration of the contract.
  • A proposed occupation date.
  • How much rent has been agreed and will be charged and over what period along with any other consideration relevant to this detail.
  • The rental period covered by the contract.
  • Any proposed additional contract terms or proposed modifications or exclusions to fundamental or supplementary terms.
  • The amount of any security deposit that is payable.
  • Whether a rent guarantor is required and, if so, any relevant conditions.
  • What reference checks the landlord (or letting agent) will undertake.
  • Specific details on what information the landlord or letting agent requires from the prospective contract-holder.

“The information must be provided to a prospective contract-holder in writing and may be given in person or sent either by post or provided by electronic means if the prospective contract-holder consents to receiving it electronically,” said Julie James, Minister for Housing and Local Government.

Why are these new regulations needed?

With more people living in Britain now renting instead of buying a home, the Government has taken steps to make the process more transparent and easier to understand. With regards to this new set of regulations, while its likely that most landlords and letting agents already supply that information, by putting it into law, the Welsh Assembly is making sure that all residential tenants will definitely be given all of these details which will help them understand the exact terms of their rental contract and what they have to pay.

For landlords, even if this is yet another round of regulations for them to adhere to, at least they know their tenants are definitely aware of everything that’s expected of them and all the monies involved in the agreement. This means that if there were to be any disagreement or dispute in the future, regarding the tenancy, the landlord can prove all the required information has been given to the tenant.

Of course, it’s likely that as a landlord or letting agent you would discuss most of the above details, such as rent, contract period and the need for a rent guarantor, at the time of viewing. However, even though it does mean more paperwork, it’s also a safeguard for both parties that everyone involved understands the agreement, 100%. There’s a lot to be said for certainty from both a tenant and a landlord’s perspective.