Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016

10th March 2022
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Significant change to the private rented sector will be implemented by the Welsh Government on 15 July 2022.

For a full and detailed explanation visit - In the meantime we have listed in brief the key points on how the new Act will affect you and what FlatHomes are doing for our managed landlords to ease the transition period.

What will change on 15 July 2022?

  • Current tenants will become known as ‘Contract Holders’
  • New renters from this date will sign ‘Occupation Contracts’ in place of the existing Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement
  • Existing tenants will need to be changed to Occupation Contracts within 6 months, before 15 January 2023.
  • Ending Occupation Contracts – Minimum notice period of 6 months – this cannot be served in the first 6 months of occupation. This effectively guarantees all contract holders 12 months in a property
  • Section 21 will be replaced with Section 173
  • Protection against retaliatory eviction due to repair requests
  • Contract Holders with rent arrears or anti-social behaviour problems can be served 1 months’ notice to vacate. Serious rent arrears may be served a 14 days’ notice
  • Joint contract holders may be removed/added to Occupation Contract without need for new contract.
  • Improved succession rights e.g when a spouse dies
  • Abandonment – you will be able to repossess a property without needing a court order; providing a four week warning notice has been served.
  • Fit for Human Habitation requirements
  • There are some positive changes for landlords in the above points such as abandonments and notice periods, there will still be a reliance on the legal system to process possession orders.
What does Fit for Human Habitation mean -

The guidance to the legislation is detailed and lists 29 matters the landlord should consider.

Key areas form Part 2 of the compliance are as follows.
  • Each dwelling will need an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). This is a 5 yearly report, unless stated less by an Electrician.  Corrective action is required on C1 & C2 faults found. 
  • Fire Alarms – these need to be hard-wired and inter linked with all other smoke alarms. Annual test certificates will also be required thereafter.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms will become mandatory. Where landlords have a gas supply, a carbon monoxide alarm needs to be fitted in each room with a gas appliance (ie. boiler, gas fire, gas hob)
The legislation states that failure to comply with these requirements will deem the dwelling unfit for human habitation and the contract holder could potentially withhold rent.
How are FlatHomes preparing for the changes?

Rent Smart Wales have already produced an early copy of the occupational contract and it has been identified by industry organisations as not being user friendly or thorough enough in terms of protecting landlord interest. We currently have our professional bodies that advise us, working on more suitable occupational contracts, which we expect to have available for use in plenty of time before July.

As for the fit for human habitation compliance there are 29 matters that landlord should familiarise themselves with by reading Part 1 of the guidance. On our current round of property inspections, we will be evaluating that your properties are compliant with Part 2 of the requirements.

If you have any questions on the up-and-coming charges or need a deeper explanation of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act we would be more than happy to discuss this further in person, on the phone or via email.

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