What you need to know about property legislation changes in Wales

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 comes into effect on 15 July 2022. All of the regulations made under the Act (e.g. the Fitness for Human Habitation Regulations) will also come into effect on the same date.  You can read the entire Government Guidelines HERE.

What is the ‘Renting homes (Wales) act 2016?

In the biggest change in decades, the act will change the way all landlords in Wales let their properties. The changes will affect the rent, how the property is managed and the tenant living in the property.

The aim is to make renting an easier process whilst also making it more secure for both parties involved.

Who’s affected?

All social and private tenants will see changes in all areas of the rental. These will include the contracts, the way the home is maintained and how they communicate with the landlord too.

This means all private and social landlords will need to make sure the property is updated to comply with the new regulations. They will also make sure that any current or future tenants comply with the new law.

This will also include those who rent their properties through management companies and agents

The new act sees tenants and licensees become ‘contract holders’, and tenancy agreements become occupation contracts.

For the contract holders (Tenants)

The contract holder (tenant) will receive a written contract setting out your rights and responsibilities throughout the tenancy period.

The contract holder (tenant) will have greater protection from eviction

‘No fault’ notice period increases from two up to six months

There will be more flexible arrangements for joint contract holders. This means it will be easier to add or remove people from the contract without fully ending the occupation contract.

Tenants will also have improved succession rights which states who would be able to continue living in a property after the current tenant dies.

For Landlords

The changes for landlords will include

  • A simpler system where there are only two kinds of contracts (secure for social rented and standard for private rental.)
  • Landlords are responsible for making sure that the property is fit for human habitation (FFHH)
  • Abandoned properties can be repossessed without a court order.

Landlords will be expected to provide a ‘written statement’ to the tenant containing the terms of the occupation contract. This will replace the current tenancy agreement or licence agreement.

There are four key elements to occupation contracts.

The names of the parties and the address of the property

The fundamental terms include possession procedure and any landlord obligations regarding repair.

Supplementary terms include day-to-day matters. For instance, letting the landlord know if the property is going to be empty for more than 4 weeks.

Additional terms include other specific information such as keeping pets.

For tenancies that start after the new act has been implemented, the written statement needs to be issued within 14 days. For existing tenancies, Landlords have 6 months to issue the written statement of the converted occupation contract.

In light of these changes, if you are a landlord and would like to learn more about the benefits of having someone manage your property for you, please read our recent article on the benefits of property management here.