The Welsh government has provided more details of its sweeping new renting reforms which aim to simplify the sector. 

Renting Homes means tenants – contract-holders – will soon have improved succession rights, setting out who has a right to continue to live in a property after the current tenant dies, and it will also be easier to add or remove people to the contract.

Electrical testing

Landlords will have a strengthened obligation to ensure that properties are fit for human habitation, including electrical safety testing and ensuring working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted. Landlords will have to provide contract holders with a written copy of the contract, setting out the rights and responsibilities of both parties. For new rentals, the written statement must be issued within 14 days of occupation under the contract, while existing tenancy agreements will convert to the relevant occupation contract on the day of implementation. Landlords have a maximum of six months to issue a written statement of the converted occupation contract. 

Minimum security

Landlord break clauses will only be able to be incorporated into a fixed term occupation contract if it has a fixed term of two years or more; they won’t be able to exercise a break clause within the first 18 months of occupation. Meanwhile, the no fault notice period will remain at six months, meaning that all contract-holders will have a minimum 12 months of security at the start of their tenancy. If a landlord issues a no fault possession notice in response to a request for repair, the court can refuse to make a possession order and they won’t be able to issue a similar notice for another six months. Landlords will also need to be registered and licensed by Rent Smart Wales to give notice.

julie james ms wales

Climate Change Minister Julie James says these changes replace various, complex pieces of existing legislation and case law with one clear legal framework. She adds: “When in place, contract-holders in Wales will have greater security of tenure than in any other part of the UK.”

The Welsh Government has launched a national awareness campaign to tell landlords and tenants about the changes which take place on 15th July.

4 COMMENTS

  1. These new regulations will decimate the rental market, which will have a damaging knock on effect to tenants, as there will be far less available rentals.

    • No issue providing quality accommodation, certified safe. I don’t know any landlord that wants a churn of tenants but if tenants default and won’t start a repayment plan or damage the property or cause ASB, what then? How will the bill provide balance? What mechanisms will be in place to protect the community, the LL’s interest, property.

      I’m all for tenants being safe and secure in their homes and support good tenants rights. Bad tenants don’t just cause problems for the landlord and unless there are is a strong framework for dealing with bad tenants, I’ll be inclined to agree with Dennis

  2. I am concerned that tenants could misinterpret the changes of tenants additions/removals. I understand the reasoning behind it, but I am worried that Landlords could unknowingly end up with an HMO situation.

  3. As stated by Jon, I have no problem in trying to provide decent accommodation etc – and at acceptable levels of rent, however – as has historically been the case – it is ill conceived and badly worded legislation and procedures that creates so many headaches.
    Much of what I have seen at present seems to be aimed at providing security of tenure for Tenants however, looking at the “other side” of the situation, there does need to be in place an efficient legal mechanism in place such that, those tenants who, run up considerable debts associated with their rent payments without any thought as to making contributions towards such debts and/or those who fail understand that they have an obligation to act with due consideration and regard to neighbours and/or “others”, can be removed from the property in a timely manner.
    The court “system” has, for a number of years even prior to Cocid, been an inefficient, drawn out, indeed bordering on a farcical mechanism, with Judges who have a lack of understanding in regard to housing law presiding over cases.
    To balance the situation, of course ensure that homes are “fit for purpose” and provide Tenants with security of tenure etc, but, also ensure that, when the behaviour of a Tenant so dictates, then there is an efficient legal system – presided over by Judges who are well versed in up to date housing law – in place to enable Landlords to regain possession of their properties within a reasonable timescale.

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