“COVID-19 has shown us that people having security in their homes is crucial.” – John Griffiths MS
Senedd Committee backs new Renting Homes Bill
has shone a light on the importance of a secure home, especially in the private
rental sector. The Welsh Government’s Renting Homes (Amendment) Bill seeks to
strengthen security for tenants and the Senedd’s Equality, Local Government and
Communities Committee has supported the new measures.
Read the Committee's report - Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill - here
primary changes in the Bill will be to double the length of time from the start
of a tenant’s contract before a landlord can regain possession of a property,
extending it from 6 to 12 months. These changes provide 12 months security
before a tenant would have to leave a property, if no breach of contract had
occurred. The Committee heard evidence from the Welsh Local Government
Association, that increasing the minimum notice period would make the private
rented sector more “attractive” to prospective tenants.
how the Bill is working for tenants
Bill seeks to amend the Renting Homes Act 2016, which is bringing in
significant changes to renting rules. Although the Committee supports the
principles of these changes, strengthening security for tenants, the Committee
believes that it is very important to monitor the changes to ensure they are
achieving their objectives, including helping tenants.
Committee is calling on the Welsh Government to review how these changes work
in practice and monitor lending behaviour, housing supply, landlord’s behaviour
and the number of people being found intentionally homeless and outcomes for
of the courts
Committee heard strong evidence that the effectiveness of this Bill and the
2016 Renting Homes Act depends on the courts operating effectively and
organisations and landlord representatives have called for improvements to the
court systems and processes to make repossessions more efficient, easier to
navigate as well as ensuring fairness to both parties.
Welsh Government emphasised the work it is currently doing with social
landlords and local authorities to stop evictions from social housing into
homelessness. It considers this a key way of freeing up court time for
increased possession claims from private landlords arising from this Bill. The
majority of possession claims that currently go to court are from the social
sector rather than the private rented sector.
Griffiths MS, Chair of the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee
am confident that this Bill will go some way to helping tenants in Wales. We
know that for a large section of society, renting is the best option for them
and therefore it’s essential that the rental market works for tenants.
“COVID-19 has shown us that people having security in
their homes is crucial. This Bill will help by extending the
notice period that tenants receive.
the measures in the Bill to work however, we need the courts to operate
efficiently, as this is not devolved, the Welsh Government must take all
opportunities to ensure the court system takes as much account of Welsh
specific needs, such as the significant changes to the private rented
is however essential for us to monitor how these changes will work in practise,
I’m urging the Welsh Government to keep it under review and make sure that
tenants are well served under the law.”
Woolley, Director of Citizens Advice Cymru added:
welcome this amendment bill and the increased protection and stability it
brings to private tenants. For too long private tenants have been living in
uncertainty and we hope this will alleviate some of those concerns. We’re keen
to see how these changes are implemented and if they increase satisfaction
amongst tenants in the Private Rented Sector.
bill is a very welcome start and we hope it will lead to the Welsh Government
removing no fault evictions all together.”
Committee is recommending that Members of the Senedd support the principles of
the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill at this first stage and have made
recommendations for improvements. The report will now be debated by Members of
the Senedd as part of the legislation process and the Welsh Government will
Read the report - Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill - here