Landlords need to be prepared for some major changes happening in July regarding renting properties in Wales. It has been called the “biggest change to housing law in Wales for decades” for landlords and will be a stark divergence from how renting works in England. Most of these changes will affect evictions and what responsibilities landlords have. Here we will go through these changes to evictions in Wales and how they will affect landlords, letting agents and tenants in Wales.
Notice periods are one of the significant changes affecting landlords and tenants. In Wales, Section 21 (no fault) style notice periods are going to increase from 2 months to 6 months. If the contract holder has breached the terms of the contract a minimum notice period of 1 month is permitted. In addition to this you can no longer give an eviction notice in the first 6 months of the tenancy. This means that tenants are now guaranteed to occupy a property for 12 months.
One of the biggest changes for landlords and tenants in Wales is the replacement of the Section 21 eviction process. In the upcoming Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 three new types of eviction processes will be introduced.
Section 21 notices will be replaced by;
As mentioned above all these possession processes cannot be issued in the first six months of a contract and will then require a six month notice period to be issued. In addition to these changes in order to issue a possession notice a landlord will need to have served the tenant an;
Furthermore, there needs to be sufficient smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed in the property for the notice to be valid.
Along with the replacements to Section 21 notices there will also be new possession notices coming in to replace Section 8 notices. There are another three new notices coming into effect;
Section 157 and 160 only require a month’s notice with section 181 only requiring 14 days notice.
The final major change in the Renting Homes (Wales) Act related to evictions is what obligations must be fulfilled in order to proceed with one. If a court believes that a possession notice is being issued to prevent a landlord from fulfilling their repairs or maintenance responsibilities then possession may be blocked. The expectation for this is that the property in question is fit for human habitation.
If you are a landlord who will be affected by the changes to Section 21 and Section 8 please feel free to contact us here.