The Rental Homes (Wales) Act 2016
- AuthorKirsty Smith
Private landlords will be aware of the forthcoming sizeable changes to Housing Law in Wales. The new Act will be implemented from 15 July 2022, but what does this mean?
Tenants and licences will be called ‘contract holders’ and their tenancy or licence agreements will be replaced by ‘occupation contracts’.
Landlords will be required to issue a ‘written statement’ of the occupation contract to all contract-holders which will replace their current agreement. The written statement must contain all required contractual terms.
For new rentals the written statement must be issued within 14 days of occupation under the contract, if the landlords fail to issue within this time they can face penalties. Existing tenancy agreements will convert to the occupation contract on 15 July 2022, and the landlord will have a maximum of six months to issue a written statement of the converted occupation contract to their contract-holders.
Properties must be fit for human habitation (FFHH) and there are many obligations that must be met. If a landlord issued a ‘no fault’ possession notice in response to a request for repair, after 15 July 2022, the Court can refuse to make a possession order (this is already the case in England) if the repair falls within the FFHH obligations.
Where a contract-holder has breached the occupation contract the minimum notice period that must be given is one month, unless it relates to anti-social behaviour or serious rent arrears which will allow a shorter notice period.
For ‘no fault’ evictions, the notice period is 6 months and the landlord cannot give such notice until 6 months after the contract starts. Ultimately, a contract holder has the right to stay at the property for 12 months as long as they do not breach the terms of the occupation contract.
It will also be possible for joint contract-holders to be added or removed from occupation contracts without the need to end one contract and then start another.
We will shortly be running a free legal workshop on this topic as well as introducing fixed price packages for occupation contracts. To be kept up to date, sign up to our mailing list here.