Letting agents and landlords in Wales face significant challenges from July 15th onwards when the country’s new and ‘problematical’ Renting Homes Wales Act comes into force, its housing minister has announced.
After that date renters must be given six months’ notice by a landlord of an intention to take possession of a property when there is no ‘fault’ by the tenant such as failing to pay the rent or anti-social behaviour.
This is already the case after the measure was introduced during Covid and then extended until mid-March – but will now be made permanent.
Tenants are also to be given a minimum one-year ‘secure tenancy’ from their moving in date and will be referred to as ‘contract holders’ from now onwards.
These, along with other measures within the Act, mean a tenant who is not at fault will be given a minimum tenure security of one year from the date of moving in.
The Act also gives tenants strong protection against retaliatory eviction by preventing evictions when a landlord has refused to tackle repairs and seeks to evict instead.
Also, the legislation will make it easier for tenants to be added or removed from ‘occupation contracts’ without the need to end one contract and start another.
This will make managing joint contracts easier and help those experiencing domestic abuse by enabling the perpetrator to be targeted for eviction.
Daryl McIntosh (pictured), Policy Manager at Propertymark says: “Communication and education will be key to the success of the new tenancy regime that the Renting Homes (Wales) Act brings.
“The changes could be problematic if agents are not well versed, and we would suggest that agents prepare well in advance of July which is something we will be supporting our members through.
“It remains to be seen how the changes to notice periods will affect the choices of both landlords and tenants as their access to flexibility is restricted.”
The announcement has been made today because the Welsh government promised to give landlords six months’ notice of the new rules, which will be available on its website from Friday, January 14th onwards.
In November the Welsh government signalled that rent controls are a strong likelihood after the Labour and Plaid Cymru parties formed an allianc.e