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Welsh Govt publishes 'Renting Homes' White Paper

The Welsh Government has recently published its White Paper on housing law, ‘Renting Homes – a better way for Wales’, as reported by Owain Rhys James, a pupil barrister at Civitas Law in his latest blog update on civitaslawcommunities.wordpress.com. The proposals pave the way for a new legal framework for renting domestic property in Wales based on the foundations of it being ‘fair, simple and efficient’.

The proposals include standard contractual agreements between landlords and tenants with the introduction of a ‘secure contract’ based on current local authority secure tenancies; and a ‘standard contract’ based on the current AST’s. The intention being to publish the standard documents online and require all landlords to issue written rental contracts thereby formalising agreements and informing parties of their rights and responsibilities from the outset.

Anti-social behaviour

There are further proposals for tackling anti-social behaviour. The proposed standard clause aims to enable an all-Wales approach to be taken to deal with Anti-Social behaviour, whilst attempting to ensure that landlords, tenants and the community as a whole are able to deal with ASB effectively and efficiently.

As Owain writes: ‘The publication of the White Paper indicates a potential sea change, if not in substantive terms certainly in legislative terms, to Housing Law in Wales. Only time will tell which, and to what extent, the proposed changes will come in to force. One thing is evident, however, from the White Paper and that is that an all-Welsh approach is at the forefront of the Welsh Government’s intentions; something which will undoubtedly affect practitioners in years to come’.

The consultation on the Renting Homes White Paper is open until 16 August 2013.  For more information and details on how to respond to the consultation please see the Welsh Government’s website at:

http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/housingcommunity/renting-homes-white-paper/?lang=en.