Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016: 10 Important Changes

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (‘the Act’) is due to be implemented next month. It is set to shake up housing law in Wales as we know it, introducing some key changes. We set out below 10 important changes being introduced by the Act to help landlords prepare for implementation.

  1. Most tenancy agreements and licences will be replaced with Occupation Contracts. There will be two new types of occupation contract, a standard contract which will mainly be used by private landlords and a secure contract, which will mainly be used by community landlords such as a local authority or registered social landlord.
  2. Written statements of contract will need to be issued to contract holders. For a new contract granted from 1 December 2022, a written statement must be issued within 14 days of occupation.
  3. Existing tenancies and licences will convert to an occupation contract on the date of implementation. Landlords will have 6 months to issue a written statement of contract.
  4. Written statements will have four key sections; key terms, fundamental terms, supplementary terms and additional terms.
  5. The Welsh Government has published model written statements for some occupation contracts. Where used, these must be reviewed carefully and additional terms inserted.
  6. The Act introduces enhanced succession rights and a requirement for properties to be fit for human habitation.
  7. There will be greater flexibility for contract holders; a contract holder can be added or removed without the need to end the contract.
  8. Landlords will be able to repossess abandoned properties without a court order, though a procedure must be followed.
  9. Ahead of implementation, policies and procedures will need to be reviewed and amended. Community landlords will also be under an obligation to make and maintain arrangements for consulting with and informing contract holders of relevant housing management matters. This may include a new programme of maintenance or a change in practice or policy in relation to management or maintenance of a property.
  10. Where a secure funding arrangement is in place, lenders consent to the new form of occupation contract may be required.

For more information, please contact Lee Russell or Victoria Smith.

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