Wales politics

Letting agency fee ban actively considered, Carwyn Jones says

Monopoly pieces on coins Image copyright PA

The first minister has said he is actively considering banning letting agents' fees.

A ban on the fees in England was announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement.

Carwyn Jones told AMs during First Minister's Questions that it would look strange if there were fees in Wales, but not in England and Scotland.

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood accused him of being slow to act on a "vitally important social justice question".

Tenants can be charged fees for a range of administrative reasons, including for credit, reference and immigration checks.

The housing charity Shelter Cymru has said some people were having "great difficulty" finding the money to pay such fees in order to rent a home.

But the Residential Landlords Association has warned that tenants could find themselves paying higher rents to cover the fees if landlords had to pay.

Ms Wood pointed out in the Senedd on Tuesday that letting agents' fees had been banned in Scotland since 2012.

"How much longer do tenants in Wales have to wait, then?" she asked.

"I would have thought that four years was long enough."

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Media captionCarwyn Jones says it would be strange for Wales to keep fees banned elsewhere

In response, Mr Jones said: "I can say this is something that is actively under consideration.

He added: "There is some evidence now from Scotland that the effect in terms of rental increases was not as great as was feared.

"That is something that will play in, very strongly, into the action we will take over the next few months."

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