Responding to concerns raised by Shelter Cymru about ‘no fault evictions’, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called for wholesale reform of the rules of the private rented sector.
Welsh Liberal Democrats want to see a gradual move to remove the section 21 powers to evict tenants, alongside a new deal between tenants and landlords where tenancy agreements can be enforced first.
We want to give the Residential Property Tribunal the power to act as a ‘housing court’ dealing with challenges to rent increases and to adjudicate and mediate disputes on fitness for human habitation, succession rights, failure to supply contracts, and discrimination.
Cllr Joe Carter, Welsh Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson said:
We have a broken system where tenants and landlords enter into contracts that are often unenforceable and too many landlords use section 21 notices to evict tenants.
Tenancy agreements specify the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. Yet whether it’s a failure to undertake repairs by the owner or rent not being paid by the tenant, these agreements are too often not respected. Too many tenancies breakdown, leading to landlords using their section 21 powers to evict tenants.
A proper system of enforceable tenancy agreements through a strengthened Residential Property Tribunal would build a modern private rented sector. A sector where both parties know their rights and tenants can feel safe treating their rented property as their home.
Taking away the eviction powers without wider reform risks landlords simply not renting to people on low incomes, creating the very issues we’re trying to prevent.