Renting Homes Wales Act 2016
What is it & why?
Renting Homes Wales is the biggest change to housing law in Wales for decades.
It increases protections for tenants and clarifies their rights and responsibilities.
It will mean Wales, England, and Scotland will each have different lettings legislations.
The intention behind the new legislation is to simplify the existing law and letting process in Wales into one clear legal framework.
These changes were due to start on 15th July 2022 but were postponed by Welsh government until 1st December 2022.
Under the new legislation, there will be two types of landlords:
- Community - social housing
- Private - private rental sector
Two contract types
There will be two contracts for each landlord type:
- Secure Contracts for community landlords
- Standard Contracts for private landlords
- These can be for a fixed or periodic term
It's important to note that contracts can now start as periodic from day one, should you wish.
- Properties will be known as Dwellings
- Tenants will be known as Contract Holders
- Tenancy Agreement Occupation Contract
Tenancy agreements will now be known as Occupation Contracts, these outline the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenants.
- The written statement is split into 4 sections:
- Key Terms - Address, rent, term, etc.
- Fundamental Terms - As set out in the model contract, limited changes and must always be in the contract-holders favour.
- Supplemental Terms - Can be changed, must show all changes, can be in either favour.
- Additional Terms - Any terms not covered above.
The Welsh government have issued "model contracts" for anyone to use. You should carefully review these before using them.
Joint Contract Holders
Tenants will be known as Contract Holders, when more than one tenant is renting then they are Joint Contract Holders.
Going forwards each contract holder is a separate entity which is a shift from the old way of all tenants being one entity.
The responsibilities remain mostly unchanged but have been outlined in the model contracts. Repairs must be made in a timely manner.
One of the more widely known changes is around "no-fault evictions" which was known as Section 21. These were often used by landlords who wanted the property returned for sales purposes. The no-fault eviction still remains but now has a longer notice period, outlined below.
- Section 173 formerly Section 21
- 6 months from the end of the fixed term, no sooner than 6 months from the occupation date.
- This essentially means that all new tenancies will last for a minimum of 12 months unless a tenant serves notice.
- Section 157-159
- These are mostly for breach of contract and carry 1 month's notice, whilst some anti-social behaviour can carry a 24hr notice.
- Serious Rent Arrears formerly Section 8
- Much like a Section 8, this can be issued for rent arrears and has been made simpler for landlords.
- Rent Increases
- It remains once per 12 months and with two months' notice.
What happens on the 1st December?
All current tenancies will become occupation contracts automatically on the 1st December. Landlords will then have 6 months to issue written statements for the converted contracts. This will not change the key terms of the tenancy for the tenants.
This is just a summary and you can find full information on the Welsh government website: https://gov.wales/landlords-housing-law-changing-renting-homes
If you'd like support during this transition, or if you'd rather we took care of all this for you, contact us on 01248 35 35 44 or email email@example.com