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Response given to consultation on extending notice periods in Wales

Thursday 05 March 2020

ARLA Propertymark has responded to the Welsh Assembly’s Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee’s consultation on the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill.

The Welsh Government introduced the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill with the aim of amending the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 to increase the minimum notice period a landlord must give when wishing to end a contract.

The Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill is a Welsh Government Bill, introduced by Julie James AM, the Minister for Housing and Local Government. The Business Committee has since given the Bill to the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee to scrutinise.

ARLA PROPERTYMARK'S RESPONSE

ARLA Propertymark does not agree with the proposal to amend the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 to extend the minimum notice period of a Section 173 notice from two months to six and to restrict the issuing of such a notice until six months after the occupation date of the contract and urged Members of the Welsh Parliament to reconsider.

By changing the notice and issuing period there will be six main consequences:

  1. It will give all tenants, including those who flout the law, a minimum of 12 months security in the tenancy by default.
  2. The proposal ignores issues with problem tenants and the impact on surrounding properties and the landlord or letting agent. This will effectively reward these tenants for their poor behaviour.
  3. Adding further time will not only impact the timescale of proceedings but will also make the process more expensive for the landlord.
  4. Landlords will sell up due to the perceived risk, resulting in a reduction of the sector and contributing to landlords being more selective about who they let their property to.
  5. The private rented sector won’t be accessible to the most vulnerable tenants and rents will increase.
  6. It will create pressure on the Welsh Government to ensure displaced tenants are housed in the social rented sector.

ARLA Propertymark’s full response to the consultation can be found below.

Consultation response

The Bill is currently at Stage 1. The Committee has issued a call for evidence, which closes on 12 March 2020. In addition to the call for evidence, the Committee has launched a survey aimed at landlords on the Bill. Propertymark encourages agents in Wales to participate.

The consultation    The survey

David Cox, ARLA Propertymark Chief Executive will provide verbal evidence to the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee on 12 March 2020. To keep up with the developments visit the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill page on the National Assembly's website.