Our views on the Renting Homes Wales Act due this year
Fri 14 Jan 2022
The Welsh Government is due to go live with its Renting Homes Wales Act on 15th July this year. It will bring in significant changes to the way landlords can evict tenants, issue tenancy contracts, and manage their properties.Adam Jones, Regional Lettings Director at Moginie James, has shared his views on what this means for both landlords and tenants:
"Some of the proposed changes within the Renting Homes Wales Act 2021 are positive steps forward to provide tenants with security and protection against the few unscrupulous rogue landlords that do still exist. This would also bring in part Wales more in-line with England on some of the legislative points making it simpler for landlords to own properties in both Wales and England and tenants to relocate across the “border”.
However, the increase to notice periods, ability for tenants to “Swap and Change” occupiers without the need for new contracts creates a significant imbalance to the control over the rental of a property, swaying it further towards tenants.
There needs to be very clear and detailed wording relating to many of the proposed changes to ensure that the legislation (specifically change of occupants) is used under the correct circumstances it is meant for, not abused by tenants that want to up and leave a joint tenancy without recourse.
A six month notice period with restrictions about when this can be served could be viewed as excessive and unnecessary where a 3-4 month notice period would in most cases give tenants more than sufficient time to secure a new home and move without any undue stress.
The reform does not indicate any increased powers for landlords to recover possession of the property should the tenant be in a breach of tenancy, specifically breaches that may not be deemed currently by the courts as a “mandatory” ground for possession, which would protect landlords should a tenant not behave in a tenant like manner and would allow landlords the ability to minimise damage or loss of rent from a bad tenant.
This Act will create further divide between landlord and tenant, if not properly stress tested and landlords would hope the Welsh Minister will consider the wider impact on the rental industry if landlords come to feel that they have lost complete control of their properties through one-sided legislation."