Today (6th May) voters in Wales will elect 60 members of the Welsh Parliament (Senedd). We have published a manifesto here.
What we’re demanding
Renting in Wales needs to be safer, fairer and more secure. Welsh renters can still be evicted for no reason, they need more stability and an end to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions. There also needs to be tougher penalties for landlords who break the law. Wales now has a national register of landlords, however, there are still improvements that could be made to protect renters from criminals. Renters in Wales remain vulnerable to rent increases. Even though these can technically be challenged through the Rent Assessment Committee, only three did this in 2019/20. This must change.
The Renting Homes Act for Wales passed through the Assembly at the end of 2015, but the end result was quite different from the initial Bill.
The Welsh Assembly has 60 Assembly Members (AMs) but the Welsh Labour Government only holds 30 of those seats. That means that every Bill has to have approval from one of the opposition parties – Plaid or the Lib Dems- or it won’t go through.
Compulsory registration of landlords and letting agents, mandatory safety checks; what we can take from the Welsh Housing Bill.
The motion to agree the general principles of the Welsh House Bill was unanimously carried in the Welsh National Assembly this week. The Housing Bill aims to improve the supply, quality and standards of housing in Wales and takes various aspects of housing into account, ranging from tackling homelessness to legislating within the private rented sector. In a positive move for renters, the Housing Bill specifically sets out legislation for compulsory registration and licensing of all landlords and agents. Furthermore, it has been suggested that the bill include a legal requirement for landlords to undertake regular safety inspections, such as electrical inspections, in all private rented housing, so the bill may yet improve.
The Welsh Assembly is debating a Bill that would reform the private rented sector. There are bits that are good about it but also bits that are bad, so renters in Wales need to make their voices heard to make sure the legislation actually improves things.