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posted by Stephen of: Hensonshomes

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Welsh Government is keen to do more to address concerns about no fault eviction. Current legislation allows a landlord to seek possession of a property without a breach of contract providing the tenant with only two months’ notice.

A consultation has been launched seeking your views about:

  1. Extending the minimum notice period from two to six months;
  2. Restricting a landlord from serving a no fault eviction notice within the first six months of a periodic contract,
  3. Placing a six-month restriction on issuing a no fault eviction notice following the expiry of a previous notice and more….

Julie James AM, Minister for Housing and Local Government statement:

The Welsh Government is committed to improving security of tenure for people who rent their homes.

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 is key to making renting a positive choice and achieving security of tenure. However, its implementation has been delayed due to the reform of court IT systems in England and Wales.

We are now in a position where we are able to proceed with implementation of this important Act. In doing so, we will honour our commitment to give six months’ notice ahead of the Act coming into force so landlords, agents and licensees and tenants – who will be known as contract-holders under the Act – have time to prepare for the changes.

The Act provides a new, streamlined and reformed basis for residential letting in Wales, with significant benefits for anyone who rents their home. These include:

  1. Mandatory written contracts, clearly setting out all the relevant rights and responsibilities of landlords and contract-holders;
  2. Protection against retaliatory evictions – when a landlord evicts a tenant in response to a request for repairs or maintenance;
  3. The introduction of a Fitness for Human Habitation standard for all privately rented properties, including regulations setting out requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and electrical safety testing.
However, there is more we can do, in particular to address widely held concerns about the use of no fault evictions. Section 173 of the Act, as currently drafted, allows a property owner to seek possession of a property without a breach of contract occurring with two months’ notice. I am today launching a consultation asking for views about amending the Renting Homes Act before it comes into force. Under the consultation are main proposals for periodic contracts (those contracts with no end-date):
  1. Extending the minimum notice period applicable to a section 173 notice from two to six months;
  2. Restricting a landlord from serving a section 173 notice within the first six months of a periodic contract, rather than four months as currently provided for;
  3. Placing a six-month restriction on issuing a section 173 notice following the expiry of a previous notice.

The main proposals for fixed-term contracts (those contracts with a pre-agreed end-date) are:

  1. Removal of a landlord’s ability to end a fixed term standard contract under section 186;
  2. To consider the use of break clauses in fixed term contracts.

We are also seeking views about other proposals intended to complement those outlined above, including:

  1. Restrictions on issuing possession notices to landlords which the courts have found to have carried out retaliatory eviction:
  2. Restrictions on issuing possession notices to property owners in breach of other laws related to rented housing, such as not having an Energy Performance Certificate or a valid gas safety certificate.

There are legitimate reasons why a property owner may need possession of their property, such as to live in it themselves. Getting the balance right is vital if we are to maintain and encourage a vibrant private rented rector that provides high quality homes.

The consultation document and questions can be found at https://gov.wales/increasing-minimum-notice-period-no-fault-eviction and the consultation will close on 5 September. Have Your Say

Posted in Law announcements on Jul 20, 2019