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In July 2022 the Welsh Government are introducing changes to the way properties will be rented. The Renting Homes Act 2016 is set to change how properties are rented, managed and lived in in Wales. It affects both the social and private rented sectors.

Who will be affected by the new law?
All social and private tenants will see changes:

  • in the way their contracts are provided
  • in the way their homes are maintained
  • to how they communicate with their landlords

All social and private landlords, including those who rent their properties through management companies or agents, will need to:

  • comply with the new law
  • make the necessary updates to their properties and paperwork

This will not affect properties in England.

What does the new law mean for me?

Tenants
Under the new law, tenants and licencees will become ‘contract-holders’. Tenancy agreements will be replaced with ‘occupation contracts’.

The new law will make renting easier and provide greater security.

For contract-holders this will mean:

  1. receiving a written contract setting out your rights and responsibilities
  2. an increase in the ‘no fault’ notice period from two to six months
  3. greater protection from eviction
  4. improved succession rights, these set out who has a right to continue to live in a dwelling, for example after the current tenant dies
  5. more flexible arrangements for joint contract-holders, making it easier to add or remove others to an occupation contract.

Landlords
For landlords this will mean:

  1. a simpler system, with two types of contract: ‘Secure’ for the social rented sector and ‘standard’ for the private rented sector
  2. ensuring homes are fit for human habitation (FFHH). This will include, electrical safety testing and ensuring working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted.
  3. abandoned properties can be repossessed without needing a court order.

Changes to renting homes, will England follow suit?
The educated guess is yes, in time. It maybe time for the smaller landlords in particular, for whom letting a property is not their main business, to consider the future and weigh up the risks of being a landlord.

For more details, contact our specialist team on 01792 468684 or email enquiries@pgmsolicitors.co.uk.

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