Latest News

Clarity provided for agents in North of England

03 August 2020

On the evening of Thursday 30 July, the UK Government announced a tightening on restrictions for some areas within the North of England in order to protect against the risks to public health arising from Coronavirus. Read More...

Ten new courts unveiled to tackle evictions proceedings backlog

30 July 2020

The Lord Chancellor, Robert Buckland announced on 19 July 2020 the locations for ten ‘Nightingale Courts’ which have been rapidly set up with the aim of tackling the impact of Coronavirus on the justice system. Read More...

Demand from tenants and rental supply highest on record for June

30 July 2020

ARLA Propertymark’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) June report saw the number of new prospective tenants continue to rise, following the Government’s COVID-19 lockdown, with the average branch registering 79 new tenants, compared to 70 on average in May. Read More...

Guidance released for re-opening of housing market in Wales

28 July 2020

Today, 28 July, the Welsh Government has released guidance for the property sector and has updated its amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (Wales) Regulations in light of the re-opening of the housing market from 27 July. Read More...

Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill to continue

Wednesday 22 July 2020

The Welsh Government has announced they will recommence the scrutiny of the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill in the autumn when back from their summer recess term.

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)

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.

The Government has said that they will ‘legislate to improve the position of tenants in the private rented sector through the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill, and scrutiny of that Bill will recommence in the autumn.’

What the Bill means

Quote mark

Extending notice periods from two months to six months under the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill will cause further shockwaves for landlords and agents. The proposals will make it even more difficult for landlords to reclaim possession of their property and add further longevity to an already lengthy and expensive eviction process.

We are concerned that landlords will have no viable option of evicting problem tenants quickly and efficiently due to current court procedures. If landlords sell up due to the perceived risk, this will shrink the sector and contribute to landlords being more selective about who they let their property to. The Welsh Assembly must reconsider extending the minimum notice period and take a long-term, holistic view that supports those who are providing professional and well-managed tenancies.”

ARLA Propertymark

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.

Full response

ARLA Propertymark will continue engaging with Members of the Senedd to mitigate the negative impacts of the Bill. Resources will also be provided to members to support agents with the changes.