The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 commenced on 1 December 2022.
The new law gives more protection to tenants (now known as ‘contract-holders’) and makes clearer their rights and responsibilities. Changes include:
- Your landlord has to give you a written contract setting out all of your rights and responsibilities, and those of the landlord;
- Doubling the notice period for a rent increase from one month to two months;
- Longer notice periods before your landlord can regain possession (as long as you are paying your rent and haven’t done anything wrong); and
- More flexible arrangements for joint contracts – joint contract-holders can be more easily added to an existing agreement.
Yes. Your tenancy agreement will be known as an occupation contract.
Your tenancy agreement converted to an ‘occupation contract’ on 1 December 2022. Many of your existing tenancy terms will remain the same but others, such as the landlord needing to give greater notice of a rent increase, will replace those terms in your existing agreement.
There are two types of occupation contract:
- Secure occupation contract: This replaces secure tenancies and assured tenancies and is the main contract issued by local authorities and housing associations; and
- Standard occupation contract: This is the contract that is mainly used in the private rented sector (where you have a landlord who is not a council/local authority or a housing association).
Your existing tenancy agreement will convert into an occupation contract. You don’t need to do anything for this to happen. Your landlord will have to issue you with a ‘written statement’ of the converted contract before 1 June 2023. Your landlord can issue your written statement in hardcopy or, if you agree, electronically.
For anyone moving into their home on or after 1 December, landlords have up to 14 days to issue the written statement.
No. There is nothing in the new law that means that your rent will go up. If you live in social housing your rent will still only increase in line with the Social Rent Policy, as set by the Welsh Government.
The notice period is a minimum of four weeks. However, you will not normally be able to end a fixed term standard contract early.