Twelve-month contracts are set to become mandatory in Wales under a new law announced today (10th February).
Landlords will be unable to serve notice during the first six months of a new let under the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill, with the subsequent notice period extending from two to six months.
Announced by Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, the combined effect means it will be a year before a landlord is able to repossess their property.
For a 12-month contract – standard for students and young professionals – the period will increase to 18 months.
The new rule will only affect so-called ‘no fault’ repossessions, where a landlord needs to take their property back, for example if they need to move into it themselves or sell it.
Landlords will still be able to issue a possession notice with a shorter notice period if the contract has been breached under current Section 8 rules.
The new law will be introduced before the Senedd by Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, following a consultation last year.
She says it will provide greater security for people who rent their home, particularly those in the PRS, while still allowing landlords to take back their properties ‘in a timely manner’ where the tenant is at fault.
The Bill amends the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, and should it be passed by Members of the Senedd, it is anticipated the new law will come into force in the spring of 2021.
Announcing the change, the Housing Minister said: “The new Bill I am unveiling today will add further significant protections for those who rent their home in Wales to those already included in our landmark Renting Homes legislation.
“These include, ensuring that a possession notice where there is no breach of contract cannot be served for the first six months of occupation, and where possession is sought, giving the contract holder six months’ notice.
“This will provide valuable time for individuals and families faced with possession under section 173, and the organisations and agencies that support them, to find a new home that is right for them and make all necessary arrangements for a smooth transition to their new home.
“I believe the Renting Homes (Wales) Act, as amended, will provide a sound basis for renting in Wales: balancing the needs and rights of both tenants and landlords and helping ensure our PRS is a well-managed option for households.”