Two new pieces of housing legislation proposed by the Welsh Government
On Tuesday 27 June the Welsh Government published its legislative priorities for the year ahead. In total there were five pieces of legislation that the Welsh Government intend to bring forward over the next twelve months. Of these five, two concern housing.
The first piece of legislation proposed by the Welsh Government will prohibit letting agents from charging “unfair, up-front” fees for those renting in the private rental sector. The wording of the Welsh Government statement does suggest that the proposals might stop short of a blanket ban on agency fees, as is currently the case in Scotland, and as is being proposed in England. We can expect more information from the Welsh Government over the coming months, however, as to whether any Bill would ban letting agent fees completely, or merely place a cap on how much letting agents will be allowed to charge.
The second proposed piece of housing legislation set out by Welsh Government seeks to reform the statutory basis for social housing regulation in Wales. This proposed legislation will come as no surprise to those who have been keeping an eye on housing associations and social housing regulation in Wales over recent months. Following a decision by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to reclassify housing associations in Wales as part of the public sector, last autumn, the Welsh Governments have been taking a number of steps to reverse the decision. The Welsh Government has already made changes to the regulatory framework for housing associations in Wales, and this piece of legislation is a further part of that process. The Welsh Government has already opened consultation on this proposed legislation, and there’s still time to submit your response. TPAS Cymru has already submitted its response.
TPAS Cymru will be keeping a close eye on both proposed pieces of legislation as they develop over the next twelve months. We will ensure that we keep our members up to date as to what these changes might mean for you, and we will work to present your views to the Welsh Government.