You can read the Written Statement: Outcome of consultation on Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 – Notice Periods for Converted Contracts and laying of associated regulations here.
“Wales’s housing crisis is being made worse because the Welsh Government is driving private residential letting out of business,” says Emily Church, CLA Cymru Policy Advisor.
“Countryside communities depend on economical rented homes in the absence of other affordable alternatives, and yet Welsh Government policy is causing property owners to think twice about letting rural properties. We know that a very large proportion of rural residential lets are rented at a rate below market value. Affordable rented homes in the countryside are already difficult to find.”
“Ironically property owners find themselves forced to sell-up – and these homes are often snapped-up as second homes. This is driving working families out of the countryside.” Emily adds, “The Welsh Government’s approach contradicts its’ own commitment to increase the availability of affordable homes.”
The Welsh Government has just announced changes in regulations which dramatically reduce landlords’ capacity to serve converted occupation contract holders to around sixty-day's notice period from June next year. This has been increased to six months. “It’s important that landlords have this flexibility since developmental work may need to be done promptly on a property, or circumstances can change. It’s also been a vital safety-net for home-owners when issues arise,” Emily explains.
“Changes being introduced from 1 December this year in residential letting contracts have already caused landlords to question the viability of letting properties. People responsible for letting homes have invested considerable resources to accommodate the Welsh Government’s changes announced earlier this year.
Here we have an example of the Government going-through the motions of democratic process and ignoring the constructive feedback it receives
“The Welsh Government’s formal consultation process on the changes heard from over 1,400 organisations and individuals – over 90 per cent from experts in the industry. Here we have an example of the Government going-through the motions of democratic process and ignoring the constructive feedback it receives.”
“These changes come at a time when letting of rural, traditionally constructed cottages and homes has become very challenging owing to the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES). These regulations come from Westminster, but a Welsh Government Minister has acknowledged that the high cost and practical difficulty of reaching the standards is taking vital countryside homes off the rented market.”
Emily concludes, “We’re calling on the Welsh Government to undertake a full impact assessment of its housing and letting policies’ impact on rural communities. The Government must take on board the feedback it’s received from ourselves and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA). We are advising our members to fully understand the impact of Government policy on their letting arrangements.”