Private Residential Landlord? Have you made the changes?
- AuthorLauren Edwards
The new Renting Homes (Wales) Act (2016) (“the Act”) was implemented on 1 December 2022 and introduced considerable changes of which private residential landlords must be aware. These changes are effective immediately.
A key change under the Act is new terminology. Tenancy Agreements are now “Occupation Contracts” and tenants have become “contract-holders”.
Occupation contracts are now made up of the following:
- Key Matters – This sets out information such as the names of the parties, the address of the dwelling, the period of occupation etc.
- Fundamental terms – These terms are included automatically. Some terms such as fitness for human habitation and succession rules cannot be amended or excluded, while others can be changed by agreement with the contract holder
- Supplementary terms – These are provisions which are automatically included but that can be removed or amended with the agreement of the contract holder
- Additional terms – These are terms which are not included in the standard form agreement but can be added to the occupation by agreement with the contract holder. Terms which are in direct conflict with a fundamental term cannot however be included
Occupation contracts can either be granted for a fixed term (e.g. 12 months) or on a periodic basis (e.g. month by month).
Any agreement entered into after 1 December 2022 will need to comply with the new rules from the outset. All private landlords will need to provide a written statement of the occupation contract to the contract holder within 14 days of the occupation date.
Any agreement entered into before 1 December 2022 has automatically become a “converted contract”. This means that any existing terms will continue in effect as long as they do not conflict with the new statutory requirements of the Act.
Landlords need to ensure that their existing occupiers are provided with a written statement of the new terms of the occupation contract by 1 June 2023.
Failure to do so would open the landlord up to financial penalties.