Tough new rental regulations will come into force in Wales from 15 July, making it more difficult for landlords and agents to evict tenants.
Giving effect to the Renting Homes (Wales) Act, originally passed in 2016, the regulations require landlords to give tenants at least six months’ notice when serving a Section 21 “no-fault” eviction – a rule that was already in place temporarily as part of the Welsh COVID-19 response. Landlords will also not be able to serve notice within the first six months of a tenancy, and courts have been given greater powers to deny “retaliatory evictions” when tenants ask for repairs.
The new law also strengthens the requirement for landlords to keep their rented properties fit for human habitation (FFHH) – a definition that includes supplying working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and carrying out regular electrical safety testing. Tenants will no longer have to pay rent during any period in which the property doesn’t meet FFHH rules.
Rules around joint contracts are changing too. From 15 July, joint contract-holders can be added to and removed from a tenancy without having to create a new tenancy from scratch, streamlining the administration of shared properties.
Industry groups have cautiously welcomed the long-awaited implementation of the act, but also called for more clarity on what the new rules mean in practice. The Welsh government has published guidance for landlords covering new occupation contracts, maintenance requirements, succession rights and more on their website.
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