A national awareness campaign has been launched to prepare landlords for the implementation of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 on Friday July 15.
Described by the Welsh Government as the biggest change to the private rental sector landscape in that country for over a decade, 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;
- S21-style '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 - or tenants, as they are universally known - will have a minimum 12 months of security at the start of their tenancy;
- a 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;
- the introduction of a consistent approach across sectors to eviction where antisocial behaviour and domestic violence, occurs.
Welsh climate change minister Julie James - who is also responsible for housing - says: “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.”
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