Renting Homes (Wales) Act Delayed

Renting Homes Wales Act Delayed

Housing minister announces Renting Homes (Wales) Act Delayed.

Julie James, the Minister for Climate Change, who also has responsibility for housing, has announced that the date for the implementation of the ground-breaking Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 has been put back.

Originally due to be brought into play on July 15 2022, the act, which introduced wide ranging changes including the way contracts are provided, the way homes are maintained and the way that communications between landlords and tenants are carried out will now start on the December 1 2022.

The Act would see the introduction of six-month no-fault eviction notices (Section 21) rather than the two months at present, and minimum housing standards, amongst others 

Up until this point, landlords will be able to order tenants from a home for no other reason than they want to reposess it, perhaps in order to sell the property or to enable a member of the landlord’s family to move into the property instead. 

When it was first announced that the act would be brought in on July 15 there was concern that it could possibly lead to an increase in no-fault evictions before that date.

This has led to representation from landlords, and in particular social landlords who have requested a delay to the implementation of the act.

Ms James says in a statement:

“In the light of the unprecedented pressures they face, including Covid recovery and supporting those who are fleeing the war in Ukraine, I have decided to postpone implementation of the Act until December 1 2022.  This will allow more time for landlords to complete the necessary preparations ahead of implementation.”

Referring to the Act as something that happens only once in a generation, the Minister also states that “Wholesale reform of the type that the Renting Homes (Wales) Act is bringing about happens only very rarely – perhaps once in a generation. I want to do all I can to ensure landlords have adequate time to make the necessary preparations to comply with the requirements of the Act.”

Admitting that some parties involved in the renting industry could be dismayed and disappointed by the delays, and confessing that she shares those frustrations, she added: “I recognise that preparing new occupation contracts and ensuring that properties meet the fitness standards set out in the legislation are major undertakings, particularly for those landlords responsible for a large number of properties and tenants. I also accept that landlords from both private and public sectors, as well as letting agents and other stakeholders, would benefit from additional time to familiarise themselves with the various pieces of subordinate legislation – the final tranche of which are due to be made in July – before commencement.

“I am, though, absolutely certain that that this reform will bring huge long-term benefits to landlords and to those renting their homes.”

Guidance, and other resources for landlords and tenants can be accessed via the Renting Homes Wales website.

 Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

Key Updates in Welsh Rental Laws: Understanding the Renting Homes Act 2016

The concept of tenancy agreements in Wales has undergone a significant transformation. Now termed as ‘occupation contracts’, these updated agreements provide a more precise and structured understanding of both parties’ rights and responsibilities in a rental agreement. Presented in a detailed written format, these contracts enhance transparency and mutual understanding in rental arrangements.

The Renting Homes Act has introduced several measures to enhance tenant security in Wales:

  1. Extended ‘No Fault’ Notice Period: The notice period for ‘no fault’ evictions has been increased from two to six months, offering tenants greater stability.
  2. Strengthened Protection Against Eviction: Tenants now have improved safeguards to prevent unjust eviction.
  3. Broadened Succession Rights: This change allows for continuity of tenancy in certain situations, such as following the death of the current tenant.
  4. Flexible Arrangements for Joint Contract-Holders: Easier processes have been implemented for adding or removing individuals from an occupation contract.

The Renting Homes Act has streamlined processes for landlords in Wales:

  1. Two Contract Types: Landlords now work with two distinct contract types – ‘Secure’ for the social rented sector and ‘Standard’ for the private rented sector.
  2. Mandatory FFHH Standards: Compliance with fitness for human habitation standards, including electrical safety checks, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors, is now required.
  3. Simplified Property Repossession: Landlords can repossess abandoned properties more quickly without a court order.

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