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Radical rental reforms delayed for six months

There’s embarrassment all round for the Labour-run Welsh Government as it reveals a late delay to its much-hyped rental reform.

The reform - which was to come into effect in mid July - has been described as the biggest change to housing law in Wales for decades and includes an increase in the notice landlords must give when issuing evictions and protection for tenants from evictions for a minimum of 12 months after signing a contract.

Under the new rules all landlords will be required to provide a written copy of the occupation contract to the tenant, setting out the rights and responsibilities of both parties; there will be a strengthened duty on landlords to ensure the property is fit for human habitation, including the installation of smoke alarms and regular electrical safety testing; and the introduction of a consistent approach to eviction where antisocial behaviour and domestic violence occurs.

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However there is now a last minute delay because of the complexity. 

A statement from the Welsh housing minister Julie James says: “I have over recent months received representations from landlords, and particularly social landlords, who have requested that implementation of the Act be delayed.  

“As such, and in the light of the unprecedented pressures they face, including Covid recovery and supporting those who are fleeing the war in Ukraine, I have decided to postpone implementation of the Act until 1st December 2022.  This will allow more time for landlords to complete the necessary preparations ahead of implementation.

“Wholesale reform of the type that the Renting Homes (Wales) Act is bringing about happens only very rarely - perhaps once in a generation.  I want to do all I can to ensure landlords have adequate time to make the necessary preparations to comply with the requirements of the Act.

“I appreciate that this delay, relatively short though it is, will be a source of frustration to some of our partners, especially those who are anxious to see the enhanced protections for tenants the Act will deliver.

“I share those frustrations, but I recognise that preparing new occupation contracts and ensuring that properties meet the fitness standards set out in the legislation are major undertakings, particularly for those landlords responsible for a large number of properties and tenants.  

“I also accept that landlords from both private and public sectors, as well as letting agents and other stakeholders, would benefit from additional time to familiarise themselves with the various pieces of subordinate legislation – the final tranche of which are due to be made in July – before commencement. 

“I fully acknowledge the disruption that moving from the old familiar system to a brand new legislative framework is causing for landlords across Wales, particularly in a period where we are still having to deal with the aftershocks of the pandemic and where we are doing all we can to welcome to Wales people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. 

"I am, though, absolutely certain that that this reform will bring huge long-term benefits to landlords and to those renting their homes.”

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Good luck to anyone looking to rent in Wales then, will there be any private landlords left there by December ?

    Jason Flicker

    Oh there will be plenty of LL's left. As you know, they always use the "we will all sell up" line, and guess what, still thousands of private properties to rent. Essentially, your earnings are being halved, but you're still making profits... So no LL's will actually leave lol. You're just annoyed you're not making as much as as easily as before. The PRS is no longer a cash cow for LLs because you also know that when governments see you make money, they want their share lol.

     
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    Well Jason I don't know where you are in the country, I'm in Norfolk, I've had 4 properties come vacant in the past 12 months, all 4 of those properties have seen a £150 - £200 increase in rent, had in excess of 10 viewings each with at least 6 suitable tenants apply to rent each one of them. Please let us know where you are? I would be very interested to know

     
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    Jason sounds like he's from cuckoo land

     
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    Jason, who are you ? The BBC is reporting that less PRS properties are coming onto the market for rent in the Merthyr area, because lls are selling up.

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    Jason, if lls charged a market rate for their labours they would be losing money.

  • John  Bentley

    Jason, you obviously haven't tried to rent a property lately.

  • Rik Fergusson

    Jason doesnt look at research or statistics.
    Dont be a Jason.

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    Don't think Jason's lift goes up to the top floor

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    Press X to Jason.

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    They are probably all trying to sell up before all that unnecessary nonsense kicks in.

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    Not yet, but in the near future, I will get the maximum rent out of the properties until the very last minute and then start to sell to mitigate my CGT, but they are going before it gets out of hand. The rents now will seem like a dream to what is to come.

     
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    It was becoming obvious to those of us in Wales that the Social landlords were really struggling with so many changes. However the Welsh housing minister can't even grasp the basics of renting be it social or private., even rent smart wales cannot understand the details of the tenancy deposit registration system when asked. However in fairness to Jason , empty vessels can make the most noise, but I suspect he has had a bad experience so paints all landlords with the same brush. On the ground here in Cardiff rents have never been so high and prospective tenants are struggling to find anything to rent that's within their grasp. Rents in Wales have increased by over 20% since Rent Smart Wales was introduced so I will predict at least another 15% increase on top of that when the muppets in the Welsh assembly finally bring in these new changes.

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    Jason. Very good why don’t you buy, you shouldn’t have at trouble paying a Mortgage then, you are in for the shock of your life, count the costs do the maths and try again.

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    Why is it called Rent Smart Wales, maybe Rent Stupid Wales would be more appropriate. Amzac Estate’s says rents up 20% and Landlords driven up to wall, so they are not helping anyone.
    Clearly they have done enormous damage to Tenants in Wales making Rents more expensive and more difficult to find. Equally done huge damage to Landlords forcing up costs and driving them out of the
    Market, not very smart.

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    Unfortunately Mr Foley, the communist government in Wales will blame the English. And demand more money from them !

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    They're following Nicola Sturgeon who helped me put rents up 30% in December 2017when she brought in her anti tenant legislation which has been such a disaster for tenants they're planning to "reform" it and make it even worse for Scottish tenants.

     
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    Long Term Benefits to Tenants and Landlords .
    How is this every going to be of Benefit to anyone ? Tenants will have nothing to rent, There will be 50 Tenants chasing every house. Rents will be continue rising. Tenants will be locked in to where they are because they will not be able to move. And Landlords are expected to spend £100, 000`s on a Property so they can give it away. Or am I missing something ?

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    Stephen
    You are missing nothing. The whole world is turning up here and that's what they are expecting.

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