Welsh Government White Paper on renting homes

09 November 2013

The proposals are for a wholesale reform of tenancy legislation in Wales. The work is based on the original "Renting Homes" report published by the Law Commission back in 2006. The proposals set out a new legislative framework for renting a home, which it is claimed will "provide a fairer, more transparent and flexible system for both tenants and landlords." At the heart of the new arrangements will be two types of rental contract:

  • A "secure contract" modelled on the current secure tenancy issued by local authorities; and
  • A "standard contract" modelled on the Assured Shorthold Tenancy that is used mainly in the private rented sector

The new arrangements will apply to both social landlords and to the private rented sector. Essentially the proposal comprises a removal of the Housing Act 1988 and the Housing Act 1985 in Wales. This will mean that Assured, Assured Shorthold, and Secure tenancies will disappear. They will be replaced (and existing tenancies will be converted) by the two new types of tenancy. England and Wales are still one legal jurisdiction. However, as far as landlord and tenant law goes, Wales is increasingly going to diverge from England.

Whilst many of the proposals seem sensible, this will be a big change and developments will need to be monitored closely. In particular, suggestions are sought on how to restrict the consequent increase in administrative and legal costs for private landlords. The CLA is also concerned about the implications for cross-border estates.

Private Rent Act 1977 tenancies will not be affected and "Tied Accommodation" is also excluded from the proposed reforms.

The White Paper repeats what has been said before that a separate Housing Bill later this year will attempt to introduce registration and licensing for all private landlords and estate and lettings agents in Wales.

CLA Cymru will be responding to this consultation on 16 August and the views of the membership are sought on these proposals. Please send thoughts or comments to harry.flanagan@cla.org.uk by 15 August 2013.