Propertymark welcomes latest homeless legislation from Welsh government

Private landlords should not refer tenants at risk of homelessness, Propertymark argues

Related topics:  Housing,  Propertymark,  Homelessness
Property | Reporter
16th January 2024
Homeless 558
"Propertymark has cautioned against the lack of clarity on responsibilities for lettings agents where landlords have discharged their duty onto an agent"
- Tim Thomas - Propertymark

Propertymark has welcomed new legislation from the Welsh Government designed to tackle homelessness, and in particular a commitment from the Senedd that private landlords should not refer tenants at risk of homelessness.

A White Paper was published by the Welsh Government that consists of a variety of measures to tackle this issue in Wales. These measures include amending current homelessness legislation, how Welsh public services can tackle homelessness, assisting those disproportionately affected by homelessness, and improving housing access in general.

Propertymark believes that this White Paper will tackle homelessness in Wales, especially the measure to increase the time when a person is regarded as homeless should be increased from 56 days to six months.

Doing so would broadly align this legislation with Section 173 of the Renting Homes Wales Act 2016, which states ‘the landlord under a periodic standard contract may end the contract by giving the contract-holder notice that he or she must give up possession of the dwelling on a date specified in the notice.’

In addition to this, Propertymark also supports the Welsh Government’s intention to eliminate the intentionality test from legislation, so it is no longer used in deciding whether an applicant is entitled to the prevention and main duties.

Propertymark also supports other measures that local authorities can take to reduce homelessness.

These include Personal Housing Plans to ensure local housing authorities can tackle specific obstacles to housing.

Other measures Propertymark has suggested include collaborating with lettings agents and private landlords to retain a database of adaptable properties to assist local authorities with finding people appropriate accommodation.

Finally, Propertymark believes routes to social housing in the most serious circumstances within the private rented sector such as anti-social behaviour, should be encouraged.

Tim Thomas, Policy and Campaigns Officer at Propertymark, said: “The Welsh Government has taken a positive step by not placing the responsibility of referring tenants at risk of homelessness onto landlords and lettings agents. Propertymark has cautioned against the lack of clarity on responsibilities for lettings agents where landlords have discharged their duty onto an agent. This is because property agents might not have the day-to-day contact with tenants to assess their risk of homelessness.”

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