EXCLUSIVE: New renting laws in Wales are a ‘disaster’ for landlords

EXCLUSIVE: New renting laws in Wales are a ‘disaster’ for landlords

10:16 AM, 1st December 2022, About 2 months ago 16

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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.”

Landlords in Wales are worried about eviction notices

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.”

Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016

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:

  • All tenants and licensees will now be known as ‘contract-holders’
  • Tenancy agreements are replaced with ‘occupation contracts’
  • Tenants will be given a written contract setting out their rights and responsibilities
  • The ‘no fault’ notice period is extended from two to six months
  • There’s more protection for tenants from eviction.

Changes affecting landlords

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:

  • ‘Secure’ contracts are for the social rented sector
  • ‘Standard’ contracts are for the Welsh private rented sector.

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.

New laws will help to make renting simpler

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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Comments

Lee Bowen

11:17 AM, 1st December 2022, About 2 months ago

And the new contract looks like it was written by a 4-year-old.
Loads of omissions, which means the landlord has to add to it and risk the wrath of the legislation for putting a comma in the wrong place.
After 23 years of hard graft, recent experience of this socialist nonsense, tax changes and Shelter making money out of the system (they lost but I'm the only one out of pocket while they profit from legal aid) I'm getting out. Will continue to look after good tenants until they move out then sell up.

Tessa Shepperson

11:17 AM, 1st December 2022, About 2 months ago

I agree that it is more burdensome on landlords in some circumstances (i.e. if you have unsatisfactory tenants/contract holders). However, it is not all bad.

For example, there is now an abandonment procedure (something that landlords have wanted for a long time), plus contract holders no longer have the right to refer rent increases under the notice procedure to the First Tier Tribunal.

Welsh Landlords are referred to this article https://landlordlaw.co.uk/new-welsh-laws-come-into-force-today-how-landlord-law-can-help/

Happy Landlord

12:01 PM, 1st December 2022, About 2 months ago

I have a number of properties in England - I live in Wales and would not touch any B2L property in Wales with a barge pole - The first minister and his hench men, sorry people, are a total nightmare - just wait until Labour inherit Westminster, you can say good bye to the PRS. We, mostly, try to look after our tenants but the fifth column is coming through good and strong in the form of our politicians (of all parties) who are intent on seeing the sector destroyed. I am really concerned about the future of the majority of tenants - there are no council houses and the PRS is being destroyed, can no one see this - a good mix of property and methods of living are essential for a healthy economy - flats, houses, bungalows, HMO's, leasehold, freehold, rented etc etc

OrangeGrouse

15:52 PM, 1st December 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Lee Bowen at 01/12/2022 - 11:17
I’m with you on that. 21 years in the business. Plenty of assets, but now very little profit and a lot of stress. There must be a better way.

Chris Bradley

19:23 PM, 1st December 2022, About 2 months ago

My cousin is an elderly council tenant and when he received a letter stating he would no longer be called a tenant and would need an occupation contract, he phoned me in tears asking if he was going to be evicted as he no longer had an "occupation" as he was retired.
The change in terminology makes no sense.
The succession on joint tenancy makes no sense as often couples cannot afford properties on one salary so if a couple becomes a single on sucessionhow will they afford the rent, they will end up in arrears. It will make landlord reluctant to rent to a couple on a low or single wage.
New smoke alarms rules make sense as does abandonment.
The model contract is so difficult to understand, it is unordered and confusing

Lorraine Kirkman

0:26 AM, 2nd December 2022, About 2 months ago

Plenty of bad landlords out there. But there's definitely more tenants out there making landlords life's hell. I have one tenant left, when he's gone that's me done. Well done the Welsh government for making a bad situation worse. And as for the 150% rise on council tax second homes. To stop the English, well it make us English feel about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit.
I believe you don't have to pay council tax on an empty property. The removal men are going to be very busy.

Dave

8:47 AM, 2nd December 2022, About 2 months ago

I've just had a tenant who refused a rent increase (£100 rising to £115 a week after 2 years with no increase).

She refused to go down the appeals procedure......just refused to pay the increase!

The local council representative told me to issue a section 8 notice after 2 months but I pointed out to him that my understanding of the section 8 notice is that the tenant had to be 2 months behind with their rent....not just a percentage of it

So I'm left with a section 21 notice that can't be served for 6 months and the possibility of no rent for the whole of this period plus the associated court costs

The only option I have is to sell

Diolch yn fawr senedd

Jonathan Doyle

9:53 AM, 3rd December 2022, About 2 months ago

The increasing legislation and punitive sanctions covering all owners/landlords in the Private Rented Sector is now overwhelming and totally unnecessary for 99% of Private owners who unfortunately decided to offer rented accomodation to persons who for whatever reason freely choose to rent rather than buy their own house or flat. The Governments in Wales or in Scotland do not own the properties that Private owners decided to offer as rented accommodation.... these properties are as the name indicates are ` Privately` owned so the The Governments in Wales or in Scotland need to learn to back off with all this interfering Stalinist legislation and to remove much of this unnecessary legislation covering the Private Rented Sector or there will be a mass exodus of Private owners leaving the Private Rented Sector in Wales and in Scotland in the next year or so which is already happening in Scotland and which will only increase rents to most tenants as the supply of `Private` rented properties goes down...this is simple economics which for some strange reason The Governments in Wales or in Scotland simply do not understand or perhaps they do not really care about people who rent privately in Wales or in Scotland and all this so called rhetoric about protecting private tenants is all just Blah Blah Blah !!!!

DonH

11:32 AM, 3rd December 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dave at 02/12/2022 - 08:47
Hi Dave, Apologies but, as with many, I have been trying to understand the new "system" and I believe you may be incorrect. Although it doesn't help your predicament in regard to the S8 notice it has now been replaced by the RHW20 notice. However, unless I totally misunderstand the scenario the equivalent of the S21 notice - is an RHW17 - which is used if the original was a periodic AST before 1st December, still retains the 2 months notice period until the 31st May 2023. There appear to be some other criteria but, as mentioned, I think that is the case. Good luck

Dave Taylor

17:20 PM, 3rd December 2022, About 2 months ago

I'm selling all my 22 houses with social tenants in.4 section 21 notices in place already more ,in 2023 every body after the landlord so let the government have the tenants they can do what they want

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