Legislation stipulating the amount a holding deposit could be (capped at up to one week’s rent) was previously laid out under the Renting Homes (Fees etc) (Wales) Act of 2019 but, although there is a provision for specific information to be provided under the Renting Homes Act, no details about exactly what information this should be were given at the time. Clarification has finally been outlined and came into effect on 28 February 2020.
Information to be provided before landlords or letting agents can collect a holding deposit
- How much the holding deposit is (limited to no more than one week’s rent)
- The address of the property the holding deposit relates to
- If the holding deposit is being collected by a letting agent, name, contact details and bank details of said letting agent who is collecting the holding deposit
- If the holding deposit is being collected by a landlord, the name, contact details and bank details of said landlord
- Duration of the contract
- The proposed commencement date of occupation
- Details of the rental amount
- The rental period
- The amount of any tenancy deposit
- Information about what types of reference checks the landlord or letting agent will take
- Whether a guarantor is required and if so details of the guarantor
- Information about contract terms or any proposed modifications to standard contract terms
- Any further details the landlord or letting agent requires from the prospective tenant.
As well as requiring a raft of facts and figures, the new Welsh amendments create an additional concern for landlords and agents, regarding how the information should be provided to the prospective tenant. Although supplying it electronically is preferable for obvious reasons, unless agents (or landlords) attain prior consent from the prospective tenants to send it this way, they will have to deliver it in person or by post. Failure to do so – or failure to provide the required information in full – will void the process and the holding deposit will have to be repaid in full (regardless of whether or not the potential tenant takes on the tenancy or not). While these Welsh amendments (which obviously only apply to the Welsh property market) may at first seem like unnecessary details, designed to generate more admin, perhaps the best approach is to recognise them as a vital part of your audit trail, there to protect you in case of a dispute, instead?
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for information only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions related to issues in this ebook, we strongly advise contacting a legal professional.
For more information about tenancy management, why not download The Ultimate Guide to Tenancy Deposit Protection?