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By Keith Simpson
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Wales rental market 'needs reform'

Wales rental market 'needs reform'

Law Commission | Law Commission

2 min read Partner content

The Law Commission has said that the "complex and inflexible" legal framework governing rented housing in Wales needs reform.

The new report from the commission, the statutory independent body created to keep the law under review, is its first report relating only to the law in Wales.

It said the current existing tenancy types with two forms of contract: a secure contract for social housing and a standard contract for the private sector.

There are many different types of tenancy, and local authorities, social landlords, such as housing associations, and private landlords all have different forms of agreement with their tenants.

The reforms are based on recommendations the Law Commissionmade in 2006 for both England and Wales.

The proposals were rejected for England but accepted by the Welsh Government. Today's report updates the recommendations for implementation in Wales and demonstrates that the National Assembly for Wales has the necessary power to legislate.

Frances Patterson QC, the Law Commissioner leading on the project, said:

"This report shows the Law Commission's commitment to law reform in Wales.

"Our recommendations preserve, as far as has been possible, the existing balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants. But we know that many housing disputes come about because the law is obscure and hard to understand.

"Clearly expressed and fair contracts will contribute to the legal security of tenants, as well as enabling both landlords and occupiers to understand the expectations that a rental contract places on them and reducing the need for costly litigation to resolve disputes.

“We are delighted that the Welsh Government has shown the foresight and imagination to take forward these much needed and well received recommendations.”

It is expected that the Commission's report, Renting Homes in Wales, will inform a white paper to be issued for consultation shortly by the Welsh Government; and that legislation in the National Assembly will follow in 2014.

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