Five property Bills included in First Minister's legislative plan

Rt Hon Vaughan Gething, MS, has set out his priorities for the rest of this Senedd term, with building safety, homelessness, visitor accommodation, and planning all forming part of the programme. Radical and transformative change which matters most in people’s lives is what the Welsh Government will be concentrating on, and the First Minister is looking forward to a renewed, genuine partnership with the new UK Government to unlock opportunities across Wales.

Houses in Cardiff, Wales

Ambitious plans for safety regime

A Building Safety Bill has been expected for some time, with Julie James, MS confirming in March 2024 that it will go significantly further than the English Building Safety Act 2022, much of which Wales has already adopted.

The Bill will fundamentally reform the existing regime in Wales and all multi-occupied residential buildings that contain two or more residential units regardless of height. Current plans will place new duties on local authorities to regulate the occupation phase of the new regime.

Apartment Block in Leeds cladding being changed
15 Jan 2024
Updated building safety rules should not leave existing flats behind

World-leading homelessness reforms

In January 2024, Propertymark responded to the Welsh Government consultation on their Ending Homelessness White Paper, which drew heavily on recommendations from an expert panel with experience in homelessness.

We welcomed the decision not to place a legal duty on private landlords to refer tenants at risk of homelessness to housing teams, and strongly urged local authorities to consider agents and landlords as part of the solution and actively develop positive relationships with them.

The Welsh Government believes the Bill will help people in Wales remain in their homes and prevent anyone from experiencing homelessness.

Homeless man wearing a red hat
21 Nov 2023
PRS is crucial in the delivery of homelessness plans

Simplifying planning

Towards the end of this Senedd term, a Bill will be brought forward to simplify and modernise the planning law in Wales, which the First Minister said is increasingly inaccessible and overly complex.

We do not yet have details of the planned reforms.  A report from the Competition and Markets Authority in February 2024 suggested a range of options, including more effective monitoring and enforcement of local plans, a requirement for greater diversity of housing tenure on larger developments, and streamlining the approval process so projects can get started more quickly.

Compulsory registration for short-term lets

A Visitor Accommodation (Regulation) Bill will introduce statutory registration and licensing for all visitor accommodation in Wales, meaning anyone who lets out visitor accommodation will have to meet a relevant set of standards to help ensure the safety of visitors and enhance the visitor experience.

Additionally, separate legislation to give local authorities powers to introduce a visitor levy, a small additional charge on visitors staying overnight, to support sustainable tourism.

Proeprties in Old Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
10 Jan 2024
Compulsory registration will enable short-term lets to demonstrate quality

Propertymark welcomes the First Minister’s commitment to building a fairer, stronger, greener Wales, and th important role of housing in achieving this.

We have worked in partnership with the Welsh Government on building safety, and we are pleased to see this work will pave the way for a Building Safety Bill which will cater to the specific building types within Wales and also add greater protections against fire safety risks, beyond the remediation of cladding.

We are equally pleased with the continued commitment to tackling homelessness in Wales. As a consultee of the White Paper on Homelessness, Propertymark is committed to continuing engagement with the Welsh Government to explore the best ways to support people to remain in their homes and prevent the experience of homelessness. 

Tim Thomas
Tim Thomas Policy and Campaigns Officer | Propertymark