10:16 AM, 1st December 2022, About 2 months ago 16
From today, landlords in Wales will see the biggest change to housing legislation in decades coming into force with the rules affecting both landlords and tenants.
But the new laws have been slammed as a ‘disaster’ for landlords by Janet Finch-Saunders, the Shadow Minister for Climate Change in the Senedd.
The Conservative MS told Property118: “This law is already a disaster for landlords.
“The fear of it coming in has already precipitated a number of Section 21 notices being served.
“And when I speak to landlords, they just say ‘We’ve had enough’, all this burdensome regulation, all this risk.”
Ms Finch-Saunders also warns that landlords in Wales are worried about eviction notices being extended from two months to six months – and that the court process will make this longer.
She said: “In real terms, a six-month eviction could end up taking almost a year and nine times out of ten, landlords won’t see any rent coming in, so they’re not prepared to risk on an asset.
“They’re either going to move over into holiday lets or sell up.”
Ms Finch-Saunders continued: “I’ve always said there has to be a balance. All that a private sector landlord wants is for someone to look after their property and pay their rent.
“But the law now is skewed heavily in favour of the tenant.”
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will now change the way that landlords rent their properties.
The legislation was postponed in July to allow the Welsh housing market time after recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
Landlords will see the act affecting how properties are managed and rented. The law changes for tenants include:
Among other changes affecting landlords is an improvement in succession rights which sets out who has a right to continue living in a property, for example, should the current tenant die.
It is also easier to add or remove joint contract-holders and there are two types of contract:
The new law also makes clear that rental properties must be fit for human habitation (FFHH) and landlords will need to carry out electrical safety testing and have working carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms.
Also, an abandoned property can be repossessed without a court order.
Julie James, the climate change minister, says the new laws will help to make renting ‘simpler and more transparent’.
Kerry Barber, the head of compliance at Goodlord, said: “This is really significant legislation and the implications for landlords and their agents are myriad.
“There’s a lot to get to grips with. Those who haven’t prepared for the changes must move quickly to ensure their house is in order and they don’t fall foul of the new regulations.”
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