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Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill introduced

Wednesday 24 February 2021

The Welsh Government has announced the introduction of the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill which extends the minimum notice period from two to six months alongside other new provisions and will be implemented before the end of its current Assembly (May 2021).

The Welsh Government first proposed the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill in February 2020 with the aim of amending the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 to guarantee a minimum of 12 months’ protection against eviction at the start of a new tenancy if they have not breached the terms of their contract.

Renting Homes (Amendment) Bill – what it means

Within the Bill, the Welsh Government proposes to extend the minimum notice period for a notice given under section 173 – Landlord’s Notice – from two months to six months and to restrict the issuing of such a notice until six months after the occupation date of the contract. The 2016 Act currently sets this at four months.

The Act also contains a number of new provisions including ensuring that landlords' dwellings are subject are fit for human habitation (FFHH). This includes:

  • functioning smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • electrical and gas safety certificates are in place for each dwelling they let

If the dwelling is not fit for human habitation, under the Act, rent will not be payable.

Find out more

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The Welsh Parliament’s approval of the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill will introduce significant changes to the way the private rented sector operates in Wales. Collectively, having one standardised legal framework is going to enable everyone to operate in exactly the same way, giving clarity on rights and responsibilities through standard written contracts.

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.

Michael Smith

Angela Davey
ARLA Propertymark President

WHAT PROPERTYMARK IS DOING

In March 2020, ARLA Propertymark responded to the National Assembly for Wales Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee consultation on the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill expressing concerns around extended minimum notice periods, changes to fixed-term contracts and more.

Our response

Resources

Members can download a Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019 fact sheet which breaks down what the Bill means, eligibility, permitted payments and much more by logging into their member area on the ARLA Propertymark website.