Landlords and property managers concerned with the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will be pleased to hear that the implementation of the act has been delayed. This comes after months of calls from the residential lettings sector to postpone the law changes as many of the changes that they need to comply with still haven’t been clarified. The Minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS explained the decision in a statement released on the 30th of May.
The implementation of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will be pushed back until the 1st of December 2022. One of the biggest sticking points the act had with those in the sector was how quickly the law changes would come into effect. This is especially problematic as the final tranche of subordinate legislation isn’t being released till July, just before the original implementation date. Now landlords and property managers will have an extra four and a half months to ensure that all properties are up to the new standards. Additionally, the delay will also allow lettings agents more time to understand what new requirements they need to fulfil.
In her statement laid out her reasoning for the delay;
I have over recent months received representations from landlords, and particularly social landlords, who have requested that implementation of the Act be delayed. As such, and in the light of the unprecedented pressures they face, including Covid recovery and supporting those who are fleeing the war in Ukraine, I have decided to postpone implementation of the Act until 1st December 2022.”
She also acknowledged that this delay ‘will be a source of frustration with some of our partners’. However, this delay, according to the Minister, will mean that larger landlords and especially social landlords will have enough time to bring their properties up to standard. As a ‘once in a generation’ change to lettings it was important to make sure that landlords weren’t being unfairly penalised by the Act
Here is what our Managing Director and non-executive Director of the NRLA, Douglas Haig, had to say about the changes;
The Minister has quite rightly recognised how substantial a change this is and clearly been listening to some of the points we have been making. It’s not about stopping it from coming in at all, it was allowing the industry time to fully understand and be compliant when it is introduced. Hopefully, this is the beginning of continued cooperation between the sector and Welsh Government.”
Overall, the delay in implementing the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will mean that landlords are not rushed to implement the new safety components of the Act. Additionally, more time will be given to sort out changing contracts over to new occupation contracts.