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19 January 2016

Landmark Renting Homes law receives Royal Assent

Press release from Welsh Government's website:

Ground-breaking legislation to improve the lives of the one million people in Wales who rent their home, has today been granted Royal Assent by Her Majesty the Queen.

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will make renting a home simpler and easier, replacing various and complex pieces of existing legislation with one clear legal framework.

One of the most significant pieces of legislation to be passed by the National Assembly for Wales, the Act will:

  • replace the majority of current tenancies and licences with just two types of contract – one for the private rented sector and one for social housing
  • require landlords to issue a written statement of the contract which clearly sets out the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants
  • require landlords to carry out repairs and ensure rental properties are fit for human habitation. It will also help protect people from being evicted simply for complaining about the condition of a property
  • help to prevent people being made homeless when a joint tenant leaves a tenancy, thereby ending the tenancy for everyone else
  • do more to help victims of domestic abuse by enabling the person carrying out the abuse to be targeted for eviction
  • help a landlord to recover a property in situations where the tenant abandons it

A Bill receives Royal Assent when Letters Patent under the Welsh Seal signed with Her Majesty’s own hand signifying Her Assent are notified to the Clerk of the Assembly. The Bill then becomes an Act of the Assembly.

The First Minister of Wales, as Keeper of the Welsh Seal, applied the Seal to the Letters Patent in a ceremony in Cardiff earlier today.

First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said: "I am proud of this Government’s proven track record of using ‘made in Wales’ solutions to make Wales a better place to live. This Act will not only introduce much needed clarity and fairness into the rental sector, but also help protect some of the most vulnerable people in society."

Minister with responsibility for Housing, Lesley Griffiths, said: "This landmark Act is set to improve the lives of the one million people in Wales who rent their home. It 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.

"I would like to thank all the organisations and individuals who have helped us develop this Act, and look forward to continuing to work with them as it is implemented."