The expert's view: Landlord advice from our Director of Operations, Nikki Lewis...
To help answer that question, it’s important to understand how we got here…
Government of Wales Act 2006In 2011, under the Government of Wales Act 2006, Welsh Government gained the devolved power to create its own housing laws for Wales.
Handy to know:
- Devolution is the transfer of power by a central government (in this case, the UK Government) to local or regional administrations (in this case, Welsh Government).
- It’s not just housing that is devolved. Health and social care is another, which is why Wales had different coronavirus laws to England. Many other key areas of Welsh life are devolved too.
Thus far, Welsh Government have created their own legislation for some housing-related issues, but not all, so we have a mixture of older legislation that applies to England & Wales and newer legislation that applies only to Wales.
Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016Also known as the RHWA, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 is Welsh Government’s biggest step yet towards Welsh-specific housing legislation.
Whilst it’s an extremely lengthy Act, the RHWA doesn’t repeal (annul/void) everything in the 9 iterations of the Housing Act. It repeals only certain legislation, based on the subject matter. It will take many, many years for Wales to come way from the Housing Acts entirely, if that is even their aim.
Handy to know:
- The RHWA repeals much of the 1988 Housing Act, which introduced the concepts of assured tenancy and assured shorthold tenancy. It abolishes those and replaces them with secure and standard occupation contracts.
- It doesn’t, however, affect anything introduced in Part 1 of the 2004 Housing Act, i.e. HMO licensing and HHSRS (The Housing Health and Safety Rating System).
Welsh Government will release the full list of legislative changes in June 2022.
Note: Originally due to come into force on 15th July 2022, Welsh Government announced earlier this week that the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will now be postponed until 1st December 2022 (Read more).