BBC WALES INTERVIEW

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Here’s an update on my recent interview I did for the BBC’s news documentary on the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill.

On Monday (9th February 2015) the Wales Bill – Renting Homes was announced and as a result of this it was the main feature on the 6.30pm and 10.00pm News in Wales. The Bill was launched in Wrexham that morning by Lesley Griffiths AM, Communities Minister, of Welsh Assembly Government, who described it as “a very large bill, the biggest the Assembly has seen”. She went on to say, “It aimed to simplify the relationship between landlords and tenants”.

The Bill incorporates all forms of rental homes in Wales, social housing, housing associations and private landlords. Chief Executive, Gaynor Roberts of Citizen Advice Bureau gave her comments on the concerns this Bill will have on 16 and 17 year olds, now being able to rent from any of the sectors. Her concerns were that youngsters are not equipped with this kind of budgeting and education in schools, and therefore it will have an impact on the Citizen Advice Bureau.

As private housing is growing and is expected to be bigger than social housing in the next 5 years, the Welsh Government aims to ‘get rid’ of old laws to make the whole process of renting homes in Wales much easier and clearer. I was asked by BBC radio and television to give my input as a private residential landlord in Wales. The interview also saw one of my private tenants being interviewed in one of my properties. I was asked for my opinion on the topic of standardisation of tenancy agreements. Was this fair to both tenants and landlords alike, in particular the abolishment of the six-month moratorium on “no-fault’ evictions? I said the abolishment would benefit tenants who wished to rent only for a month or two and then move on but the Bill would also mean that families could be evicted with just one month’s notice, perhaps having just found schools for their children. Under an amendment to the Bill to be considered by the Assembly, local authorities will beneficially be able to serve improvement notices on landlords but at the same time making it almost impossible for landlords to regain possession under Section 21 rule, on properties where tenants commit anti-social behaviour. This would be unsatisfactory and I am sure there will be an ongoing debate as a million people in Wales rent their homes so will be affected when the Bill becomes law.

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