From 1st December 2022 (originally 15 July 2022), the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will change the way landlords in Wales rent their properties. The Act simplifies how all landlords rent their properties. Whether you are a landlord or a letting/managing agent, these changes will affect you.
Key areas affected by the Act, include:
1. TENANCY AGREEMENTS
Tenants and licensees will be known as ‘Contract-Holders’ under the Act. Contract-holders are required to have have an ‘Occupation Contract’ (which replaces tenancy and licence arrangements).
There are two types of occupation contract:
- Standard Contract: This is the default contract for the private rented sector (PRS)
- Secure Contract: For use by community landlords.
Landlords will be required to issue a ‘Written Statement’ to all contract holders. The written statement must contain all the terms of the contract.
2. INCREASED SECURITY
Where a ‘no fault’ notice is issued, the minimum notice period that must be given is 6 months.
A landlord will not be able to give such a notice until after the initial fixed term has expired.
Notice cannot be served unless the Landlord has complied with certain obligations, including registration and licensing with Rent Smart Wales, deposit protection rules and the Dwelling meets the Fit For Human Habitation (FFHH) standards.
Landlord break clauses will only be able to be incorporated into a fixed term occupation contract if the contract has a fixed term of 2 years or more. A landlord will not be able to exercise a break clause until 18 months into occupation.
3. ALL PROPERTIES MUST BE SAFE
You must ensure properties are fit for human habitation (FFHH). This includes, electrical safety testing and ensuring working mains wired smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted. The obligations on landlords relating to FFHH can be found here.
In addition, rent will not be payable for any period during which the dwelling is not fit for human habitation. Failure to comply with fundamental terms of the contract can result in the Landlord having to refund two months rent, which the Court can increase 100%.
Get in touch with our Lettings Specialists for further information on your property.
4. ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
Where the contract-holder has breached the occupation contract the minimum notice period that must be given is one month. This notice period can be shorter where it relates to a breach of the anti-social behaviour or the serious rent arrears terms.
Enables both a ‘Priority’ and ‘Reserve’ successor to succeed to the occupation contract. This allows two successions to the contract to take place, for example a spouse followed by another family member. In addition, a new succession right for carers is created.
6. ABANDONED PROPERTY
Landlords are able to repossess an abandoned property without a court order, after serving a four week warning notice and carrying out investigations to satisfy your concerns that the property has been abandoned.
7. JOINT CONTRACTS
A joint contract-holder will be able to leave a contract without ending the contract entirely. New joint contract-holders can be added without having to end the current contract and start another one.
Do you have a question about the landlord changes coming in December 2022? Or are you looking for an up-to-date rental assessment or sales valuation of your property? Contact our award winning team on 02920 499680 or call into one of our branches.