Renting Homes in Wales – Housing Law Reforms
9th August, 2013
Today we conclude our series of articles about proposed changes to residential lettings in Wales.
The recommendation is that a new scheme of supported housing which avoids licences and assured shorthold tenancies. The stepped progression would assist vulnerable people from housing dependency towards housing independence.
Supported housing accommodates some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society and provides a direct link between the provisions of accommodation and support services.
Accommodation intended to be short term i.e. four months or less would be excluded from the statutory scheme. This would provide a four month period for respite care or allow the provider to assess the housing and support needs of the client. After the initial four months was exceeded then the Renting Homes provisions would apply.
The supported housing accommodation would be excluded from the requirements to enter into a secure contract for a period called “the enhanced management period”. This will be for a period of two years which could be extended for a further period in particular circumstances. After the enhanced management period, the contract becomes secure or standard as appropriate.
During the enhanced management period the tenant rents on a supported contract (a variation of the standard contract). This gives the managers the power to exclude an occupier without the need for court intervention for up to 48 hours, for example, where there are threats of violence to anyone on the premises, which impedes the ability of other residents from support accommodation or services provided. It also gives managers the power to move occupiers within the provided accommodation to avoid resident conflicts with one another.
Landlords will not be able to use the power to excluded more than three times in six months so if bad behaviour persists, then the landlord must seek possession. The landlord will have to go to court to obtain a court injunction if there is the need for longer or permanent exclusion which can last up to the length of the notice period for possession proceedings.
The Renting Homes bill is not expected to be considered by the National Assembly before Wales before 2015. If passed, the changes may take effect in late 2015 or early 2016.
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