A ban on letting agency fees charged to tenants in Wales would be a dangerous move, a landlords’ organisation has claimed.
The Welsh wing of the Association of Residential Landlords was responding to the Welsh Government consultation on the plans, which follow similar moves in Westminster.
In its consultation response, the RLA states that an outright ban, as is proposed in England, would be a dangerous move, with ripple effects throughout the sector.
With a major source of revenue eliminated, agents would have no choice but to pass on their overhead costs to landlords, who in turn would have no choice but to absorb this cost by raising rents.
Landlords are facing huge financial pressure due to new regulatory changes to mortgage interest relief, Stamp Duty, mandatory licensing in Wales, and the new EPC standards that will be enforced next spring.
The RLA is arguing that rather than a ban, there should be a capped fee, within which a set of services would be required.
These could include referencing, credit checks, and assistance with negotiating the terms of the tenancy with the landlord.
Additionally, the RLA is advocating a set menu of fees for services that might not apply to every tenancy, such as guarantor referencing or surcharges for lost keys.