Six months until the ‘biggest change to housing law in Wales for decades’
“The way we rent in Wales will become simpler and more transparent this year.”
That was the promise from Climate Change Minister Julie James as she announced her intention to implement the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 on Friday, July 15.
Some of the main changes brought in by the Act will include:
- All landlords being required to provide a written copy of the occupation contract to the tenant (called the ‘contract-holder’ in the legislation). This sets out the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
- ‘No-fault’ notice periods increasing from two months to six months. It will no longer be possible to issue a notice in the first six months, meaning all contract-holders will have a minimum 12 months of security at the start of their tenancy.
- An strengthened duty on landlords, to ensure the property they rent is fit for human habitation including the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and regular electrical safety testing.
- Addressing the practice of ‘retaliatory eviction’ (whereby a landlord serves notice on a tenant because they ask for repairs, or complain about poor conditions).
- The introduction of a consistent approach across sectors to eviction where antisocial behaviour and domestic violence, occurs.
Climate Change Minister Julie James said:
This Act represents the biggest change to housing law in Wales for decades.
The Act will make it simpler and easier to rent a home in Wales, replacing various, complex pieces of existing legislation and case law with one clear legal framework.
When in place, contract-holders in Wales will have greater security of tenure than in any other part of the UK.
The Welsh Government has also launched a national awareness campaign that will ensure both landlords and tenants are aware of the changes that will take effect from July 2022.
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