Lettings agents have had their hands full trying to keep up with the legislative changes that both have been and are going to come into play within the sector, especially in regions such as Wales that is perhaps seeing the most drastic changes. This is according to Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, who says lettings agents need to prepare for the changes ahead to be able to provide their landlords and tenants with the best possible guidance.
He adds that from 15 July this year, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will change how landlords in Wales rent out their properties. “Whether you are a landlord, or a letting or managing agent, the changes will affect you and it is important to understand how to implement these into your business to remain complaint,” Offley says.
“In Wales, tenancies will become occupational contracts and tenants become contract holders. Landlords will need to give their tenants six months’ notice on no-fault evictions, which cannot be served until the first six months of the new tenancy has passed. There are also changes to joint contract holders’ rights, as well as the introduction of succession rights for contract holders. “The new legislation goes through various other aspects pertaining to a rental agreement in Wales, including a property being fit for human habitation. It is important that lettings agents familiarise themselves with new changes and integrate them into the business practices going forward.”
According to Offley, The Guild will be hosting two Rent Smart Wales events for Members as well as prospects, to discuss the changes and help ensure a smooth implementation and transition. This first event will be in Llandudno on the 19th of May, and the second the day after in Cardiff on the 20th of May.
“As with any change in legislation it always brings some resistance, however, the key is to remain calm and work through the details. We will be working with our Guild Members in Wales over the coming months; helping them understand what is required and what preparations they can start to make now so that it does not have a massive impact on their businesses and their clients. Landlords and agents who are fully prepared for the coming changes will find them easier and they will be in a much better position to assist their clients adapt to the new requirements,” Offley concludes.