Private renters in Wales have a rough deal. Landlords can evict without needing a reason, meaning no security over your home, and little confidence to request repairs and improvements. For landlords who break the law, the penalties are not much of a deterrent.
What's worse is that the Welsh government is falling behind other parts of Britain - they do not propose to end evictions without reason (Section 173) as the government in Westminster has promised renters in England.
Generation Rent has published its manifesto for the next Welsh Parliament, which is being elected on Thursday 6 May.
Tenants won't be able to enjoy a long term home unless there are proper protections against no-fault eviction, councils buying up homes being sold by landlords and limits on rent increases. While tenants can challenge rent increases through a Rent Assessment Committee, this is an obscure, difficult and unreliable process: just three did so in 2019-20.
In England, landlords who rent out unsafe homes can be fined up to £30,000 and pay back a year's rent. While these penalties are underused in England, they simply do not exist in Wales.
Wales does have a national landlord register in the form of Rent Smart Wales, so renters can check if their home is legit before handing over a deposit, but this system should be beefed up to give renters more information - such as their landlord's history of deposit claims and legal action.
Generation Rent is calling on candidates for the Senedd to commit to supporting:
- An end to ‘no fault’ evictions
- More powers given to councils to tackle landlords who rent out unsafe homes
- Tougher penalties for landlords who break the law
- Enabling renters to claim back rent from negligent landlords
- Improving Rent Smart Wales to give renters more information about their home