3 things to look out for in 2020
2020 should be the year we see real changes to fire safety standards that will impact us all. Post Grenfell, there were numerous reports, enquiries and committees. The sector now acting. In December 2019, the Housing Minister, Julie James AM announced that as of January 13th 2020, the use of combustible cladding on external walls of high rise buildings will be banned. The Minister also announced a new Chief and Fire Rescue Advisor- Dan Stephens. Dan has 30 years’ experience and will be taking immediate action to ensure the Welsh Government and fire rescue services are learning the lessons from the Grenfell inquiry. When it comes to changing and improving law, regulations and standards, this is a complex issue which we will need to rely on delivery from Westminster rather than The Senedd in Cardiff Bay. Will the safety of tenants get the attention it deserves at Westminster?
Renting Home (Wales) Act, 2016
The Welsh Government is planning to introduce a Bill into the Assembly in early 2020 to amend the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. The Bill will provide increased security of tenure by increasing the notice period for a ‘no fault’ eviction from two months to six months; preventing such a notice being issued within the first six months. This will particularly affect PRS tenants but will also affect starter tenancies offered by social landlords. Subject to the assembly passing the Bill we expect to implement the amended Act in 2021, before the end of the current Assembly term.
The new 5- year rent policy was set in December,2019; offering for landlords to set rents at a local level to ensure affordability. Much work is being carried out in the sector to ensure affordable rents for current and future tenants. TPAS Cymru are working with CHC to deliver sessions in Spring to give tenants a better understanding of what local rent setting looks like. This session will also enable tenants to discuss how they would like to help shape such rent policy.