A lettings agency is to hold free events to support landlords ahead of what it calls a “landmark transformation” in rental laws.
Williams Estates is to host drop-in sessions and advice clinics at its offices in Ruthin, Rhyl, Denbigh, Mold, Prestatyn and Rhuddlan in the run up to July 15, when the Welsh Government’s Renting Homes Act 2016 is set to be introduced.
The Act 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.
From July 15, 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.
Welsh Government Climate Change Minister Julie James admitts the Act has “taken longer than expected” to implement but says it will have a positive effect for years to come.
She adds: “This Act represents the biggest change to housing law in Wales for decades and will make it simpler and easier to rent a home, replacing various, complex pieces of existing legislation and case law with one clear legal framework.
“When in place, contract-holders [new name for tenants] in Wales will have greater security of tenure than in any other part of the UK.”
Williams Estates managing director Jason Williams says: “The Act has been in the pipeline for some time so the announcement it will finally take place this summer will have a huge impact on landlords and tenants.
“It will in many ways make the process a lot simpler but in the short term there will be a lot of questions around liability, insurance, legalities and other issues so we are going to hold free advice and information sessions across all our North Wales offices to try and help people as much as we can.
“Whether you are a customer of Williams Estates or not, our award-winning, experienced staff will be on hand to share their expertise at what is a watershed moment for the housing industry.”
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