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