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New tenants can't be evicted for 12 months in Wales as new rental law comes into force

Wales Online logo Wales Online 01/12/2022 Laura Clements
Climate change minister Julie James © Welsh Government Climate change minister Julie James

People renting houses will have to be given six months notice before they can be evicted by their landlord in new rules coming into force from Thursday, December 1. The new 'no-fault' notice period has been extended from two months and it will no longer be possible for landlords to issue a notice in the first six months. It means all those who've signed a contract on a property will have a minimum 12 months of security at the start of their tenancy from Thursday.

In what are the biggest changes to housing law in Wales for decades it's hoped renters will now enjoy greater transparency, more consistency, and increased certainty. The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 is intended to improve how homes in Wales are rented, managed, and lived in. Some of the main changes introduced which now apply include:

  • All landlords being required to provide a written copy of the occupation contract to the tenant (this sets out the rights and responsibilities of both parties).
  • 'No-fault' notice periods increasing from two months to six months for new tenants and for existing tenants from Thursday, June 1. It will no longer be possible to issue a notice in the first six months meaning all contract-holders will have a minimum 12 months of security at the start of their tenancy.
  • A strengthened duty on landlords to ensure the property they rent is fit for human habitation including the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and regular electrical safety testing.
  • Addressing the practice of 'retaliatory eviction' (whereby a landlord serves notice on a tenant because they ask for repairs or complain about poor conditions).
  • The introduction of a consistent approach across sectors to eviction where antisocial behaviour and domestic violence occurs.

Climate change Minister Julie James said: “This is a momentous moment as we completely transform the rented sector in Wales. A decent, safe, and secure home is fundamental to people’s wellbeing. These changes will provide tenants with greater protection from eviction and ensure their home is safe to live in.

“At the same time landlords will benefit from greater clarity in the law and the ability to repossess abandoned properties more quickly. As we build a stronger, greener, and more prosperous Wales I would like to thank all those who have joined us on this journey to making renting simpler and fairer.”

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