Renting reform in Wales is now well underway

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 A major restructure of the private rented sector is now full steam ahead.

Yesterday, Minister for Communities Lesley Griffiths introduced the long awaited Renting Homes (Wales) Bill into the National Assembly. It is the second piece of legislation to reform the sector, following the recent Housing (Wales) Act coming into force this year. TDS is sponsoring a conference in Cardiff to inform the industry of the upcoming changes – see below for details.

Click here to view the new bill in full. The explanatory note to accompany it is available here.

The new Renting Homes (Wales) Bill will be a major restructure of the legal framework for renting in Wales. A key change is the replacement of the plethora of existing tenancies with two new occupational contracts:

  • ‘secure contract’ based on the secure tenancy;
  • ‘standard contract’, based on the assured shorthold tenancy.

So, once the bill is passed (expected in 2016), the assured shorthold tenancy in Wales will, in due course, be no more.

Another issue being tackled, currently a hot topic in England and being addressed in the Deregulation Bill is retaliatory eviction. It looks at the use of a “no-fault” notice when it follows a request by the tenant for repairs or a complaint regarding fitness for human habitation. Where the court is satisfied that the landlord has not complied with their obligations, and the landlord has issued the possession claim to avoid complying with them, it may treat the possession claim as discretionary, not mandatory and therefore may refuse to make an order for possession.

An overarching aim of the new bill is to replace the patchwork of existing legislation with clear, coherent and consumer friendly law and is based on recommendations by TDS Chair Martin Partington during his time at the Law Commission.

TDS are sponsoring the Landlord Law Conference in Cardiff on 15 May 2015 to inform landlords and agents of the important changes. The main focus in the morning will be the Housing (Wales) Act which will impact all agents and landlords in Wales this year. The afternoon will include the Renting Homes Bill, deposit disputes, section 21 notices, and a Q&A session with the speakers. Prof Martin Partington CBE will introduce the event and lead the afternoon plenary session.

Visit http://lllconf.co.uk/wales/ to book a place.


Posted by on 10 February 2015

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