On the 10th of February 2021, the Welsh Government introduced the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales), Bill.
This new Bill will make amendments to the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. It is intended to be implemented before the end of this Assembly in May of 2021. This is a tight schedule for the assembly to scrutinise this Bill and consult with the sector on the model tenancy we are yet to see.
From Spring 2022, Landlords in Wales will have to provide their tenants with six months’ notice. Under the legislation The Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill introduced by Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government.
Welsh landlords before COVID-19 were required to give two months’ notice. Due to the pandemic, the notice period was extended to 6 months.
The new legislation also introduces the minimum period for a tenancy of 12 months.
Julie James a local government minister, said: “This law will make renting a home in Wales fair, efficient and straightforward, and it will directly affect the lives of the one in three people who rent a home in Wales.
“Thanks to our efforts, tenants will have greater peace of mind when renting. Everyone has the right to feel secure in their own home and to be able to plan for the future.”
“There will also be clear benefits for landlords. Clearer and easier to understand contracts will reduce disputes and legal costs, and the new regime will provide a better way for landlords to deal with abandoned properties.”
The legislation also stipulates that properties must be fitted with functioning smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Landlords will still be able to evict tenants under section 8 notice if tenants have rent arrears, nuisance, or any other severe and persistent breach.
Mr Sajjad Ahmad of the British Landlords Association said: “This legislation will mean people who may want to let for a short period or those wishing to take a gap year and travel will no longer be able to let their property.”
“This will impact the number of properties up for rent and may also drive-up rents as the supply and demand ratio alters.” He said.
Angela Davey of ARLA said: “While in some cases these changes will provide more financial security for landlords. It also means it will take landlords 12 months to reclaim their property in the case of “no-fault evictions”, which is a hammer blow to the sector.”
“We call on the Welsh Government to now stick to its commitment for at least a six-month lead time, or longer, in light of COVID to allow agents and their landlords in Wales to prepare for the upcoming changes.”
What else is coming up:
- Model contracts (tenancy agreement) are being worked on and will be made available for consultation within the next two months. The contracts will be driven by what is in the Act and the supplemental terms consultation.
- TPAS Cymru is arranging opportunities for members to discuss these contracts and how they could be implemented.
- TPAS Cymru is working with the National Assembly to deliver focus groups to tenants on their thoughts around this Bill.
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Author: Sarah Featherstone firstname.lastname@example.org
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