The Secretary of State for Wales has spoken out against the Welsh Government, calling for them to take measures to combat what he describes as ‘unjust fees and rogue landlords and agents.’
Alun Cairns sent a statement to the Welsh Government, outlining the issues that he takes with the current systems in the buy to let sector in Wales. His statement read: ‘Getting set up in a private tenancy can be eye-wateringly expensive. Not only must new tenants find thousands of pounds upfront for deposits and rent in advance – they also have to pay fees to letting agents for a range of administrative costs which can often run into the hundreds of pounds.’
The Secretary of State for Wales made his points following years of commitment from the Westminster government to abolish letting agent’s fees on tenants in England. This move was eventually put through, with considerable backlash from agents who claimed that their costs would be offset to landlords and then reflected in higher rents. However, the move’s reception has been generally positive from tenants. Furthermore, an announcement was made this week that further consultation and a call for evidence would take place regarding wider letting reforms.
Cairns’ statement continued: ‘This has been going on for far too long and, today, the UK government is taking a stand by giving tenants in England more power to challenge extortionate fees and poor treatment. Wales must not get left behind.’
In a call to action from the Welsh government, he concluded his statement: ‘It is time that the Welsh Government followed the example being set in England and move quickly to protect tenants in Wales from unjust fees and rogue landlords.’