By Ken Skates AM / Latest News / 0 Comments

AM welcomes simplified renting proposals

CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES has welcomed Welsh Government proposals to simplify the rented housing market in areas like Wrexham.

Currently, variations in the terms and conditions of the rental agreements of local authorities, housing associations and private tenancies mean people are reluctant to move between landlords in the different sectors.

The Welsh Government’s Renting White Paper launched on Monday proposes two types of simplified rental contract, a “secure contract” modelled on the current secure tenancy issued by local authorities and a “standard contract” modelled on the assured shorthold tenancy that is used mainly in the private rented sector.

The new arrangements will improve the efficiency of the housing system by creating a level playing field for all landlords, enabling them to work more closely together in meeting the housing needs of local areas.

The estimated number of dwellings in Wales continues to grow steadily, with an estimated 1.4 million dwellings at the 31 March 2012, which represents an increase of 9 per cent since 2000-01.

Wrexham County Borough has nearly 60,000 dwellings.

CLWYD SOUTH AM KEN SKATES said:

“The current arrangements are good in that they help give security of tenure to those renting from a local authority or housing association and help give flexibility to those private renters that need to live near their work.

“However my constituents regularly tell me that when they move between the two sectors, the sheer complexity of the different sorts of contracts puts them off moving for fear of what they might lose in terms of security.

“I warmly welcome the proposals to improve arrangements for renting homes because I think the new arrangements will help simplify the private rental market in particular and give tenants the protection of knowing they can move home without losing the security they currently have.

“We have nearly 60,000 dwellings in Wrexham with the majority of these being owner occupied.  However we have nearly 7,000 people living in private rented accommodation in the County Borough and this number is projected to rise further over the next few years. 

“That’s why we need to get the law right now so they don’t encounter the same sorts of legal difficulties that current renters have in the market.  These changes will also help us manage the housing demand in areas like North East Wales to ensure everyone has a safe and secure place to live.”

-Ends-

NOTES TO EDITORS:

In Wrexham:
• DWELLINGS RENTED FROM LOCAL AUTHORITY: 11,335
• DWELLINGS RENTED FROM REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORDS: 1,807
• DWELLINGS OWNER OCCUPIED: 39,297
• DWELLINGS PRIVATELY RENTED: 6,906
• TOTAL: 59,346
• Source – Housing Tenure Statistics: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/statistics/headlines/housing2013/dwelling-stock-estimates-2011-12/?lang=en

The Welsh Government’s White Paper is based on proposals in the Law Commission’s 2006 Renting Homes report.

The consultation is available on the Welsh Government’s website http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/housingcommunity/renting-homes-white-paper/

The Renting Homes White Paper sets out a new legislative framework for renting a home. At the heart of the new arrangements will be two types of rental contract:

• A “secure contract” modelled on the current secure tenancy issued by local authorities
• A “standard contract” modelled on the assured shorthold tenancy that is used mainly in the private rented sector.

The estimated number of dwellings in Wales continues to grow steadily, with an estimated 1.4 million dwellings at the 31 March 2012, which represents an increase of 9 per cent since 2000-01.

The majority of dwellings in Wales continue to be owner occupied (70 per cent of all dwellings); however this percentage has fallen in recent years.

The estimated number of private sector dwellings has increased steadily over the last ten years. This is largely due to the increase in the number of privately rented dwellings which were estimated to account for 14 per cent of all dwellings at 31 March 2012.

In the social sector, while the estimated the number of dwellings rented from local authorities decreased by more than half since 2000-01, the number rented from Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) more than doubled over the same period. Overall, there has been a general fall in proportion of social sector dwellings which were estimated to account for 16 per cent of all dwellings at 31 March 2012.

Key dates:

20 May 2013:  Renting Homes White Paper published – consultation starts

Consultation events:

•         Llandudno 26 June 2013
•         Aberystwyth 1 July 2013
•         Swansea 11 July 2013

16 August 2013:  Consultation period ends

2015:  Bill introduced into the Assembly