Housing Agricultural Workers in Wales
- AuthorRhys Evans
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 has eliminated special status for agricultural workers in Wales and now their tenancies will be the same as any other occupier.
Under the new legislation occupation contracts will replace existing tenancies and licenses. This is applicable for both Assured Shorthold Tenancies and Assured Agricultural Occupancies. This is not applicable for agricultural workers who began occupation before 15 January 1989.
How do I convert my existing tenancy agreement to an occupation contract?
In order to do this you will be obligated to issue a ‘written statement’ of the occupation contract to all contact-holders (previously tenants and licensees). This written statement must contain all the terms of the contract. This will replace your current tenancy agreement or license agreement.
Existing Rental Contracts after 1st December 2022
Landlords with tenancy agreements will have a six month period in order to issue a written statement of the converted occupation contract to their contract holders. All existing tenancy agreements changed to an occupation contract on the implementation date of the new legislation.
Repairs and the obligated conditions of the rental property
The legislation sets out the obligations placed on the landlord with regards to the condition of a dwelling. These obligations are applicable to all occupation contracts made for a term of less than seven years. The landlord under an occupation contract is required to ensure a property is both in repair and fit for human habitation.
How do I terminate an occupation contract for an agricultural worker?
This is dependent on whether the tenancy was previously an assured tenancy, an assured shorthold tenancy or an assured agricultural occupancy. Different legislation and notices are applicable dependant on the type of tenancy.
The new legislation is a drastic change from the previous legislation offering less security of tenure. Employers should take heed of the new legislation if they are offering accommodation to agricultural workers to ensure they comply with new statutory obligations.
Exclusions from conversion under the new legislation
- A tenancy of an agricultural holding within the meaning of the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986
- A farm business tenancy within the meaning of the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995
- A tenancy of a fixed term over 21 years
- A tenancy to which Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (business tenancies) applies
- A protected occupancy or a statutory tenancy within the meaning of the Rent
- A protected tenancy or a statutory tenancy within the meaning of the Rent Act 1977
I am unsure on how to proceed – where can I find help?
Further guidance can be found on the gov.uk website.
Please note this article is not intended to be legal advice and is for information purposes only. You should seek advice from a solicitor before taking action.