The Welsh Assembly is currently consulting on a series of changes to Landlord and Tenant law in Wales. Housing is now a fully devolved competency for the Assembly and they appear determined not to simply follow blindly in the footsteps of England.
The consultation, entitled the Private Rented Sector in Wales looks at a number of changes to the structure of the sector, many of which have been discussed or brought into force already in relation to England.
The proposals that the assembly are considering are:
- A national landlords register
- Independent regulation of letting and managing agents
- A review of why tenancies end with the aim of encouraging landlords to offer longer term tenancies
- An increase in the Housing Act 1988 rent threshold from £25,000 as has already been carried out in England
- Improving the data collected on the sector
These are all things which have been considered in England or actually implemented in England or Scotland. However, in England there is unlikely to be much further action due to the intervention of the election and the changing priorities of any new Government. Wales may well find itself leading the way, therefore, as they have the time (and energy) to enact some of these measures.
This may well represent the beginning of a sea change in Landlord and Tenant law with the growth of a new type of lawyer, one who specialises in Welsh matters.
The consultation closes on 14 May.