Despite last year’s assurance that the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 would come into force in Spring 2022, it’s been delayed yet again – to July 2022.
It was confirmed last year that the Act would contain new laws surrounding notices for possession (Section 21): that the 6 month notice period first introduced as part of the Coronavirus Act 2020 would be made permanent in the case of “no fault” evictions, and that such notices couldn’t be served until the tenants had been in occupation for 6 months, effectively making all tenancies a minimum of 12 months in length.
The Welsh Government did suggest they would review notice periods and reduce them before the Act came in, but this hasn’t happened to date, and with the Act due to come in now this year (if it isn’t delayed again), we don’t envision this will happen.
If this sounds overwhelming, you’re not alone – but now is the time to source a good letting agent! If you want to hear more about our services, click here to book a free 15-minute consultation call.
Biggest Change to Housing Law in Wales
The new law completely rewrites residential tenancies in Wales which are currently governed by the Housing Acts 1985 and 1988, and will entirely replace assured and assured shorthold tenancy regimes.
The Welsh Government has wanted to completely review and overhaul the provision of residential rented homes in Wales for some time, with a view to seeking to create a system that offered better integration between social and private renting and make the sector more clear and simple for all users.
As well as protecting occupiers, this new system would be to reduce the number of barriers to renting by removing restrictions on landlords that did not serve a definable purpose, and by streamlining processes involved.
Director of Policy & Campaigns for the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) Chris Norris has criticised the Act, saying there is a “pressing need for more clarity as to what the supporting framework of the Act looks like.
The extent of landlords’ future obligations under this legislation also underlines how crucial it is that existing legislation be made fit for purpose before new regulations are introduced.
While we welcome the introduction of the Act, it is vital that the supporting legislation if fit for purpose and scrutinised sufficiently. In particular, the occupation contract terms, which all landlords must use, needs to improve significantly before new regulations are introduced.”
It’s unclear what kind of support there may be for individual landlords, especially given that Rent Smart Wales, the body set up to manage and educate landlords in Wales, seems to have been swamped by the first of what should really be routine licence renewals in the last few months.
Preparation is Key
We say this a lot in our blogs, news articles, and guides, but that’s because it’s true: preparation is key.
We’ve known this overhaul of the Welsh lettings market has been in the pipelines for the last 5 years, and we at McCartan have already updates our systems and processes in preparation. In many ways, the Coronavirus Act has given us the opportunity to test and fine-tune them.
With this further delay to the implementation of the Act, landlords have a further 6 months to take stock, make a plan and, if you feel you need support making these changes, choose and get set up with a letting agent.
McCartan is a lettings-dedicated independent agent, and we take a proactive approach to everything from maintenance and property management to legislation changes.
Whether you’ve got property to let, or are looking for an agent to take over management of your tenancies part way through, we’d love to help. Click here to get in touch, or click here to schedule a call with a member of the team.