Industry News Steven Bletsoe 01/12/2023

One year on from Renting Homes (Wales) Act

One year on from the introduction of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act, NRLA Wales Operations Manager Steve Bletsoe explains more the past year for landlords in Wales, and some of the recent changes that have been introduced.

And breathe... The first year of Renting Homes is over now and, having put in a lot of hard work this year, landlords should now be able to look forward to a period of relative calm in Wales going forward. 

Since December 1st last year, landlords in Wales have had to adapt rapidly to a number of complex new requirements.

Renting Homes (Wales) introduced a whole raft of changes covering everything from property standards to the wording of tenancy agreements.  

As of this week (November 30), properties with converted contracts must now have EICRs and hard-wired alarms.

This is the last of the extended deadlines for converted contracts, so all tenancies in Wales should now be largely following the same rules. 

These include requirements such as having to issue a written statement with specific wording to all tenants, ensuring the property meets the new fitness for human habitation standards and serving new eviction notices where the landlord needs to regain possession. 

The NRLA has heard consistently from landlords that the new requirements were extremely challenging to comply with, particularly where the tenancy agreement needed to be rewritten into the new format.

Many have raised concerns that their tenants were more confused by the new contracts than their old ones, echoing concerns from the some in the social housing sector that the Act is ‘poorly drafted’ creating 'a lot of cost, and not many benefits that tenants can see.’ 

Given all of this, it is likely that a number of landlords are considering leaving the sector or downsizing. Some already have, with possession claims increasing by over 200% after RHW came in and remaining above their historic norms ever since.   

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Despite all of this, for landlords who are remaining in the sector there is potentially a lot to look forward to, provided they are complying with the new rules.  

Demand for properties is at record highs, the local housing allowance rate is set to be unfrozen in April, and Labour appears to be cooling on the idea of rent controls for Wales. The Welsh Government has also rejected any tightening of eviction rules in the near future. 

However, with the increased regulatory burden and potential penalties, it has never been more important to have the right level of support for your business. There is opportunity in Wales, and landlords have never been needed more. But landlords have to be on top of the new legislation.  

The NRLA will be here to support with this, as we have been throughout the implementation of Renting Homes (Wales). Our trained advisors are on the end of the phone six days a week; our Regional Representatives work across the entire country with local authorities; and our training team can provide you with all you need to know about the new laws. 


Our policy team will also continue to provide landlords with the most up-to-date resources, and lobby the Welsh Government for changes that support a vibrant private rented sector in Wales.  

Next week, for example, the required explanatory information for contracts will change. We will be providing a new occupation contract to use from December 6 for all new contracts. All landlords in Wales should download this new copy before starting a new tenancy. 

On the campaigns front, next year we will be lobbying on a number of areas in Wales and we are hopeful that new policies will be launched to support a vital private rented sector. These include introducing a Welsh Housing Survey, new land transaction tax incentives to support landlords, and the easing of the administrative burden around the Renting Homes (Wales) Act.