ARLA puts in Freedom of Information requests after not being consulted on Wales charges

The row over the new mandatory registration and licensing scheme in Wales shows no signs of going away.

With agents hit by enormous and unexpected costs – £3,728 for letting agents who apply online, but more for those who make paper applications – ARLA says it was never consulted on the fees.

ARLA has also filed Freedom of Information requests that the Welsh Government provide a breakdown of these figures.

In an email being sent to ARLA members this morning, managing director David Cox makes clear his anger and frustration.

He says in it: “We are frustrated by the approach taken by the Welsh Government in not making information available prior to the Rent Smart Wales launch date.

“This has jeopardised the goodwill of agents who are at pains to comply with the law and to continue to offer high quality service to landlords and tenants.”

Cox also refers to the other new requirement which kicked in on Monday by which all letting agents must by law show their fees.

ARLA, and agents we have spoken to, are adamant that they knew nothing about this requirement until last week.

Cox goes on in his email: “Within this context we urge our members to continue to work to the new requirement on displaying your fees.”

He says: “The cost of licensing is far higher than expected.

“We are disappointed that ARLA was not consulted on these fees and are demanding under the Freedom of Information Act, that the Welsh Government provide a breakdown of the calculation of these figures.”

Cox says that he understands that licence conditions will require agents throughout Wales to have professional indemnity insurance, to offer client money protection, and to belong to independent redress schemes.

Cox tells members that he looks forward to “updating you on our discussions with the Welsh Government soon”.

The Welsh Government says that its new regime is a template for the rest of the UK.

ARLA’s Freedom of Information request is here

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5 Comments

  1. hamilldinio3

    I asked the same questions yesterday to Bethan Jones, Operations Manager of the scheme. Needless to say I didn’t get an answer however she did confirm to me that they did not consult any one from the estate agency industry when in consultation about the fees.

    So to clarify… They didn’t think to consult anyone from the industry they were making decisions about!

     

     

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  2. Anthony

    Doncaster Council has brought in Selective Licensing, when we asked how they came up with the fee, they said they copied other councils and admitted that no research was done as too how much it would actually cost them.

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  3. Woodentop

    What is so annoying for Welsh agents has to be the costs being charged top their business NOT the cost of registration. A private landlord registration licence is only £33.50 if they do all management themselves, plus a management licence fee of £144. A licence for a sole agent (any involved in assisting a landlord is £144 per person this can be a matrimonial partner or other relative/friend) but if an agent has employees they get hit with £3,728. Add to this the training requirement charges £100 per person (everyone) =

     

    Sole landlord: £277.50 or Landlord & agent Spouse : £521.50

     

    Letting agent sole trader business: £3,828 or plus £100 per employee.

     

    Why to register does it need to be different? Nothing more than profit making!!!!!

     

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  4. Woodentop

    What I would like to know is how are they going to charge the big corporates who’s registered office is outside of Wales and they import staff from their to do the work example LSL agent Reeds Rains letting based in Wilmslow, Nr Manchester but have offices all over Wales with all their staff fall within the required training regime.

     

    Then compare it to a single letting agency ….. other than staff numbers training, they pay the same. The fee whatever it is !!!!!, should be per branch?

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  5. is it just me

    I would suggest not only is the figure of £3728 outrageous,it is also strangely very precise!  It will be very interesting to see how this amount was arrived at.

    I do not see why it is necessary to go through the nonsense of having to request such information via the freedom of information act, The Welsh Government should  be forced into releasing this information immediately on the basis of nothing else other than the fact I was under the impression we still lived in a democracy.

    I am equally disappointed by ARLA’s weak and slow response to this issue.

    Saying they were consulted is a bit lame. What they should have done is to have got in contact directly with The Welsh Government at the outset to promote and lobby for a fairer more practical licencing scheme for the whole country in the interest of both their members and the public at large ie landlords and tenant alike.

    This piecemeal approach to licencing is turning into a dog’s dinner with agencies having to adhere to different schemes in different areas creating unnecessary cost and confusion for all .One licencing body one set of rules it surely can’t be that difficult

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