Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016: Guidance on creating converted occupation contracts

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (“the Act”) is set to come into force on 15 July 2022.

For all new occupation contracts issued after the Act comes into force, landlords can use template model written contracts issued by the Welsh Government. Default terms included within those model contracts are those set out within the Act and any accompanying regulations.

For tenancies which exist prior to the implementation date, the process is a little different and recognises that it would be unfair to replace certain terms which are set out within current tenancies. Whilst landlords can still use model contracts as a template, they will need to review each of the existing terms of a tenancy and decide whether or not those terms will form part of the converted contract.

Landlords must consider whether the existing terms of a tenancy are compatible with the fundamental terms required to be included within an occupation contract by the Act.

Landlords should assess:

  1. Whether there are any existing terms which are incompatible with the fundamental terms set out within the relevant model written statement. If they are, the incompatible existing terms should be removed.
  2. Whether any remaining terms of the existing tenancy are incompatible with the supplementary terms set out within the relevant model written statement. If so, the supplementary term should be removed and replaced by the existing term of the tenancy.
  3. Whether, after carrying out the above comparison process, any remaining terms of the existing tenancy will form part of the occupation contract as additional terms.

Once the above process has been carried out, a landlord can then transfer existing terms to the converted contract.

Landlords will also need to consider the impact of Schedule 12 of the Act on the terms of a contract, which makes special provision in relation to existing tenancies and licences.

Landlords will have 6 months from the implementation date of the Act to provide a written statement of contract to contract-holders. We would therefore advise landlords to begin the above assessment process shortly.

For further information or assistance on these changes and how to prepare for implementation of the Act, please contact Lee Russell or Victoria Smith in our Housing Management and Property Litigation team.

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