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Renting Homes Bill voted through

Legislation to improve the lives of the one million people in Wales who rent their home has passed in the Senedd.  The Renting Homes (Wales) Bill will make it simpler and easier to rent a home, replacing various and complex pieces of existing legislation with one clear legal framework.

Senedd buildingSeen as one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be passed by the National Assembly for Wales, the Bill will also require landlords to issue a written statement of the occupation contract which clearly sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and those renting from them. To help landlords comply with this requirement, the Welsh Government will provide free model contracts. The Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent in Decembr.

Communities and tackling poverty minister Lesley Griffiths said: ‘I very much welcome the passing of this Bill through the Assembly and look forward to it receiving Royal Assent. With more people than ever before renting their home, it is vital this area of the law is modern and fit for purpose.’

‘This Bill will ensure both landlords and those renting their homes are aware of their rights and responsibilities from the outset, and will provide additional protection against the poor practices of some landlords.’

‘A huge amount of time and effort has already gone into the development of the Bill, but now is when the hard work really begins. I look forward to continuing to work with partners to prepare for the implementation of this landmark legislation.’

The Bill will replace the different types of tenancies and licences currently available with just two types of contract – one for the private rented sector and one for social housing.

Among the new duties on landlords will be requirements to carry out repairs and ensure the property is fit for human habitation. The Bill will also enable landlords to repossess an abandoned property without needing a court order, enabling the property to be re-let more quickly, which is in everyone’s interest.
People who find themselves in difficult circumstances will also benefit from the Bill. It will help to prevent current homelessness situations where a joint tenant leaves the tenancy, thereby ending the tenancy for everyone else. This will also assist victims of domestic abuse by enabling the person carrying out domestic abuse to be targeted for eviction.

The Bill will also help protect people from being evicted simply for complaining about the condition of a property.

For more on the detail of the Bill, including changes made as it passed through the Senedd, see this blog by Elle McNeil, policy officer at Citizens Advice Cymru.

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