Survey for renters in Wales to have you say on the letting agency fee ban!

The Welsh Government has launched a 10-week consultation on their plan to ban rip-off letting agent fees. This is brilliant news for renters in Wales, but we need to keep an eye on the Bill and make our voice heard to ensure it's effective. If we don't get involved, the ban could be watered down to being just a cap or only applicable to certain kinds of fees. Get involved and fill this in! Let Down will collate the responses and send them off as part of our longer consultation paper. Find out more about the campaign on our website.

A lot of the questions ask for specific amounts of money and a breakdown of them. It's ok if you don't remember this exactly - just give a rough estimate or note that you were charged, but don't remember how much. 

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* 1. Have you ever been charged fees before entering into a tenancy agreement? If yes, please detail your most recent pre-tenancy charges, and if possible a breakdown of the charges. So these are the charges your letting agent or landlord makes you pay before renting a new home. Such as reference checks, holding fees, inventory charges, anything charged to make improvements and essentially anything that you have to pay aside from your deposit.

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* 2. Have you ever been charged fees during a tenancy, or for renewal of a tenancy agreement? If yes, please detail the most recent amounts charged to you during the tenancy or renewal of the tenancy, and if possible, a breakdown of the amounts, below. Renewal fees are when you’re charged for staying in your house and re-signing a contract. These also include when you’re charged for adding new renters to your house or having someone removed after they’ve moved out. Some agencies are known to prefer to offer shorter contracts, so they can charge renewal fees every 6 or 12 months.

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* 3. Have you ever been charged fees after a tenancy has ended? If yes, please enter the most recent amounts charged to you after a tenancy has ended, and what the charges were for below. Such as cleaning or inventory check fees, and any money that’s taken off your deposit (for real damage and made-up damage) at the end. Do also include how long they took to return your deposit, as there’s no other questions relating to that and it’s worth highlighting such a large amount of your own money being withheld, through no fault of your own.

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* 4. Were any fees made clear to you before any agreement had taken place? If so, how? Did they tell you when you were signing which fees you’ll have to pay before, during and after you’re done renting there? Were they on the website?

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* 5. Have tenancy fees ever affected: a. your ability to move to a new rented property? b. your decision to use an agent? c. your overall finances? Have you ever felt unable to move house or leave a bad property because you couldn’t afford a set of new fees? Have you sought out individual landlords to rent off instead, for example, to avoid having to use letting agents? Have you ever been near homelessness because of the costs of renting?

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* 6. We would like to know your views on the effects that banning fees charged to tenants would have on the Welsh language, specifically on: i. opportunities for people to use Welsh and ii. on treating the Welsh language no less favorably than English. What effects do you think there would be? How could positive effects be increased, or negative effects be mitigated? For Welsh speakers, is there anything that agents could do to improve your experience?

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* 7. Is there anything else you want to raise about letting agents or their fees? Let us know below.

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* 8. Would you like your response to be anonymous? The Welsh Government might want to use it in their report or make it available online as part of their consultation. Staying anonymous in no way affects how important your answers still are.

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