Landlord’s consent

Landlord’s consent

  • If your contract allows you to do something with the landlord’s consent, the landlord can’t refuse without a good reason
  • There are rules about the procedure you and the landlord should follow when you ask for the landlord’s consent
  • You can ask the court to decide if you think that the landlord’s decision is unreasonable

Some  contract terms allow you to do something with the agreement of your landlord. This is referred to as ‘landlord’s consent’. For example, your contract might say you’re allowed to sublet a room, but only if your landlord gives consent. 

Some terms requiring consent are fundamental terms, such as your right to add a joint contract-holder. This means that your landlord can’t change this term or leave it out of contract without your agreement and unless it puts you in a better position.

How do I ask for my landlord’s consent? 

There is a special procedure you should follow to ask for consent: 

Step 1: Written request 

Make a written request to landlord. Provide as much information as you can to support your request. 

Step 2: Giving further information 

Your landlord has 14 days to ask for any further information that might help them make a decision about your request.  

Step 3: Decision 

Your landlord has 1 month from the date of your written request to give or refuse their consent.

If your landlord asked for further information then they must give or refuse consent on the day you provide the information.  

You should be informed of the landlord’s decision in writing. If you don’t receive the decision in writing then consent is given by default. 

Consent with conditions 

If your landlord agrees to your request but with conditions, the conditions must be put in writing when you are informed of the decision. If you are not informed of the conditions in writing then consent is given without conditions by default.  

Written statement of reasons 

If your landlord refuses to give consent or only agrees with conditions, you can ask the landlord to give you the reasons for their decision in writing. This must be given within 1 month of you asking. 

My landlord has refused my request. Is this fair? 

Your landlord is not allowed to refuse consent without a good reason. They also shouldn’t say they will only give consent upon conditions if those conditions are unreasonable. 

If your landlord has refused to give consent, or placed unreasonable conditions on giving consent, you can apply to the county court to decide whether your request should be allowed.  

Going to court can be costly and complicated, so it is always a good idea to get help if you are considering it. 

What can my landlord take into account? 

There are a number of things your landlord can take into account when deciding whether to give consent. These include: 

  • whether notice has been given to end the contract 
  • the size and suitability of the property 
  • whether the property would be overcrowded  
  • the financial implications for themselves, you and other contract-holders 
  • whether you provided the information they asked for  

I want to add a joint contract-holder. 

Your contract should give you the right to add a joint contract-holder with the landlord’s consent. This is a fundamental term of all occupation contracts. If you have asked to add someone as a joint contract-holder, your landlord can take in to account: 

  • whether you’ve breached any contract terms
  • whether the proposed joint contract-holder is suitable 
  • the nature of your relationship to the proposed joint contract-holder 
  • who could be entitled to take over the contract if consent is given 

This is not a full list of things your landlord can take into account. However, your landlord cannot refuse consent without a good reason. If you are unsure, get help.

I want to transfer my occupation contract to a potential successor.  

If you have a secure contract you have the right to transfer your contract to someone who could take over your contract if you died a (‘potential successor’). This is a fundamental term of secure contracts but can only be done with the landlord’s consent. Your landlord can take into account: 

  • whether you have breached any contract terms  
  • who would be entitled to take over the contract in the future 
  • how long the contract could continue.  

This is not a full list of things your landlord can consider. Your landlord cannot refuse consent without a good reason. If you are unsure, get help. 

 

I want to swap my home with another secure contract-holder 

If you are a secure contract-holder it is a fundamental term of your contract that you can swap your home with another secure contract-holder with your landlord’s consent. This is called ‘mutual exchange’ or a ‘homeswap’. For more information about mutual exchange see here 

Your landlord can take into account: 

  • if the property is the right size for the needs of the household you want to swap with
  • if the property is suitable for the household you want to swap with (e.g. for the mobility needs of people in that household) 
  • if you are in breach of your contract 

This is not a full list of things your landlord can consider. Your landlord cannot refuse consent without a good reason. Mutual exchanges will also depend on the decision-making process of other landlords involved. If you are unsure, get help.  

Supplementary terms of occupation contracts

Supplementary terms of occupation contracts

  • Supplementary terms are are contract terms that deal with everyday matters 
  • There are ‘model’ supplementary terms that should be in your contract 
  • Changes from model supplementary terms should be clearly marked in your contract

What are ‘supplementary terms’? 

Supplementary terms deal with practical matters, such as how to report repairs, or how much notice your landlord has to give if they want to come into your home. 

The Welsh governments’ model contracts provide ‘default’ supplementary terms for the 3 main types of contracts: secure, fixed term standard and periodic standard. These terms are automatically included in your contract unless your landlord decides to offer a contract which changes or leaves any of them out.  

If you moved in before 1 December 2022, you might have a converted contract. There are special rules about supplementary terms in converted contracts. You can find more information here. 

Can landlords change the default supplementary terms? 

Yes. Your landlord can offer you an contract that leaves out or changes the supplementary terms from those set out in the model contracts. It is always best to ask to see the contract before moving in so that you can check the terms carefully before agreeing to them. 

What is the procedure for leaving out or changing supplementary terms? 

Any supplementary terms that are left out must be clearly identified in your written contract 

Your landlord can’t leave out or change a supplementary term if this would be incompatible with the fundamental terms of your contract.  

For example, your landlord may want to change the term requiring 24 hours’ notice to enter the property to say that they can enter your home without notice.

This is incompatible with the fundamental term of your contract that says your landlord can’t interfere with your right to live in your home. The changed supplementary term is probably unlawful. 

Get help if you are unsure about the terms of your contract. 

Can my landlord change the supplementary terms after I move in? 

Once the contract is agreed your landlord can only change supplementary terms according to the rules for the type of contract you have (see below). This is also known as ‘variation of contract’.

Variation of secure contracts 

If you have a secure contract your landlord can change a supplementary term by giving you at least 1 months’ notice in writing. The notice should inform you about how the change is likely to affect you.

Before giving this notice, your landlord should write to you informing you that they intend to change a term of your contract, giving you the opportunity to give your views about the change. 

Your landlord should give you a ‘written statement of variation’ within 14 days. They may choose to give you a full written occupation contract in full, including the changed supplementary term.

If your landlord does not provide either of these, they may be liable to pay you compensation. For further information read our advice here. 

Variation of periodic standard and fixed term standard contracts

If you have a periodic standard or fixed term standard contract your landlord can only change supplementary terms if you agree. For more information see our advice about periodic standard contracts and fixed term standard contracts.

If you agree to changes to any supplementary term, your landlord should give you a ‘written statement of variation’ within 14 days. They may choose to give you a full written occupation contract in full, including the changed supplementary term.

If your landlord does not provide either of these, they may be liable to pay you compensation. For further information read our advice here. 

Fundamental terms of occupation contracts

Fundamental terms of occupation contracts

  • Fundamental terms are important rights that must be in all occupation contracts 
  • Your landlord can’t change or leave out any fundamental terms of your contract without your agreement
  • Fundamental terms can only be changed or left if it puts you in a better position

What are ‘fundamental terms’? 

The law states that there are certain terms that must be included in all occupation contracts. These are called ‘fundamental terms’.  

There are 2 types of fundamental terms:  

  • Hard fundamental terms – these can’t be left out of your contract or changed, even if you agree 
  • Soft fundamental terms – these can be left out of your contract or changed but only if you agree and it puts you in a better position  

Some fundamental terms only apply to certain kinds of contracts, such as secureperiodic standard or fixed term standard contracts. 

Hard fundamental terms in all contracts

These are terms that that can’t be changed: 

  • the landlord must protect your deposit and give you information about the deposit protection scheme 
  • if a joint contract-holder dies the surviving contract-holder/s keep all the rights and responsibilities of the contract  
  • if you die as a sole contract-holder and no one is entitled to take over the contract, the contract ends 1 month after your death  
  • you must not engage in antisocial behavior (this includes allowing people who live with you or visitors engaging in antisocial behaviour) 
  • your landlord must follow the correct process if they want to evict you in relation to giving notice and applying for a court order 
  • the landlord can apply to the court to evict you if they granted the contract on the basis of false information you provided  

Hard fundamental terms in fixed term and periodic standard contracts

These are terms that that can’t be changed: 

  • if you have a fixed term or periodic standard contract that began on or after 1 December 2022 your landlord can’t serve a ‘no fault’ notice if you haven’t been given 

– a written contract 

– an address,  

– a Gas Safety Report,  

– an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

– information about deposit protection,

– an electrical installation condition report, and 

– working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. 

If your renting agreement began before 1 December 2022, please see our advice section about eviction of converted contract-holders to find out what information your landlord must have given you to evict you using the ‘no fault’ procedure.

Soft fundamental terms in all contracts

These are terms that can be left out or changed if you agree and it puts you in a better position: 

  • the landlord must give you a written contract no later than 14 days after the contract starts   
  • the landlord must give you their address, or their agent’s address, no later than 14 days after the contract starts 
  • all notices and documents must be in writing 
  • you can add a joint contract-holder with the landord’s consent
  • the landlord or agent must not harass you or interfere with your right to live in your home 
  • you must not transfer your contract to anyone else or sublet any of the property unless your contract says you can 
  • if the landlord is liable to pay you compensation, you can withhold (or  ‘set off‘ ) rent up to the amount you are owed.
  • the landlord must ensure your home is fit for habitation and carry out repairs  
  • if your landlord wants to evict you on ‘breach of contract’ grounds, the reasons must be stated in the notice and the court can only grant a possession order if it is reasonable 
  • if your landlord wants to evict you on estate management grounds the reasons must be stated in the notice. The court can only grant a possession order if it’s reasonable and suitable alternative accommodation is available  
  • possession notices using grounds must give 1 month before the landlord starts court proceedings. Court action must start within 6 months  
  • if the landlord is evicting you due to antisocial behaviour they can start court action immediately. Court action must start within 6 months.
  • if you give notice to end the contract and don’t move out, the landlord can apply to court for a possession order within 2 months of your notice expiring. Court action must start within 6 months 
  • if you give notice to end the contract and move out before the notice expires, the contract ends at the end of the notice period.  
  • if you give notice to end the contract and move out after the notice expires, the contract ends when you leave 
  • you can end the contract before you move in if you haven’t received a written contract, but not after you move in 
  • if you and your landlord agree to end the contract by ‘surrender’, it ends when you move out 
  • if you move out because the landlord has committed a very serious breach, the contract ends when you move out  
  • if the court makes a possession order, the contract ends on the date you leave, even if this is before the date the order states you must leave 
  • a joint contract-holder can’t give notice to end the contract for all joint contract-holders. 

Soft fundamental terms in secure contracts

These are terms that can be left out or changed if you agree and it puts you in a better position: 

  • you can take in a lodger (this also applies to converted standard contracts that were secure tenancies immediately before 1 December 2022)  
  • you can transfer your contract to a potential successor with the landlord’s consent 
  • if you have a community landlord, you can swap your home with the landlord’s consent  
  • your landlord can only increase your rent with 2 months’ notice and not more than once a year 
  • supplementary terms can only be changed if the landlord consults with you and gives 1 months’ notice 
  • joint contract-holders can leave a secure contract by giving 1 months’ notice (unless supplementary terms specify a different notice period) 
  • you can end the contract by giving at least 4 weeks’ notice in writing 

Soft fundamental terms in periodic standard contracts

These terms can be left out or changed if you agree and it puts you in a better position: 

  • rent can be increased with 2 months’ written notice and not more than once a year
  • supplementary terms can only be changed by agreement 
  • a joint contract-holder can leave a periodic standard contract by giving 1 months’ notice (unless supplementary terms specify a different notice period) 
  • you can end the contract by giving at least 4 weeks’ notice in writing  
  • your landlord can give a ‘no fault’ (section 173) eviction notice if this is stated in the contract 
  • a ‘no fault’ notice must be 6 months (or 2 months if the contract is a converted contract or if one of the exceptions mentioned here applies)
  • your landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ notice until 6 months after your contract began (unless one of the exceptions listed here applies)
  • if your landlord withdraws a ‘no fault’ notice, and doesn’t reissue one within 28 days, they can’t give a ‘no fault’ notice for 6 months 
  • if the court decides that a ‘no fault’ notice is a retaliatory notice, the landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ notice for 6 months 
  • if your landlord gives you a ‘no fault’ notice and has given the required information, the court must grant a possession order
  • your landlord has 2 months after a ‘no fault’ notice ends to start court action 
  • if you move out before a ‘no fault’ notice period ends, then the contract ends at the end of the notice period.  
  • if you move out after a ‘no fault’ notice period ends, the contract ends when you leave 
  • if your landlord gives you a possession notice for serious rent arrears they can start court action after 2 weeks but not after 6 months 

Soft fundamental terms in fixed term standard contracts

These terms can be left out or changed if you agree and it puts you in a better position:

  • supplementary terms can only be changed by agreement 
  • you can end the contract if there is a contract-holder’s break clause by giving at least 4 weeks’ notice in writing 
  • a ‘no fault’ notice under a landlord’s break clause can only be given if the  fixed term is 2 years or more (unless one of the exceptions listed here applies)
  • a ‘no fault’ notice under a landlord’s break clause notice must be 6 months (it is allowed to be 2 months if it is a converted fixed term contract, or if one of the exceptions listed here applies)
  • a ‘no fault’ notice under a landlord’s break clause can’t be given until 18 months after your contract began (unless one of the exceptions listed here applies)
  • if the court decides that a ‘no fault’ notice under a landlord’s break clause is a retaliatory notice, the landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ notice for 6 months 
  • if your landlord gives you a ‘no fault’ (landlord’s break clause) notice and has given the required information, the court must grant a possession order
  • when a ‘no fault’ (landlord’s break clause) notice ends your landlord has 2 months to start court action
  • if you move out before a ‘no fault’ (landlord’s break clause) notice period ends, the contract ends when the notice expires.  
  • if you move out after a ‘no fault’ (landlord’s break clausenotice period ends, the contract ends when you leave
  • if your landlord gives you notice for serious rent arrears they can start court action after 2 weeks but not after 6 months
  • your landlord can give you a ‘no fault’ notice before the fixed term ends (called a section 186 notice) only if one of the exceptions here applies or you have a converted fixed term standard contract. 
  • a ‘no fault’ section 186 notice must give at least 2 months before court action can begin
  • a ‘no fault’ section 186 can’t be given until 4 months after you moved in and can’t expire until the end of the fixed term 

What should my landlord do if we agree to leave out any fundamental terms? 

If you agree with your landlord that a fundamental can be left out of your contract then this should be clearly identified in the written contract. If your landlord does not do this you can apply to the county court to provide a correct contract and your landlord may have to pay you compensation. For more information, please see our advice about written contracts. 

Written occupation contracts: General information

Written occupation contracts: General information

  • It is a legal requirement for your landlord to provide a written occupation contract
  • You might be able to claim compensation if you don’t receive a written occupation contract
  • Your landlord can’t give you a ‘no fault’ eviction notice if you didn’t receive a written contract

Most people renting their homes have a secure or standard contract.

If you have one of these types of contracts you must be given a written contract.

Your landlord could face penalties if they do not provide a written contract. 

If you do not have a secure or standard occupation contract the information on this page does not apply to you. Please read our advice here for information about other types of renting agreements.  

What information should be in my written contract? 

All written occupation contracts must contain the key matters, fundamental terms, supplementary terms and additional terms of the contract. 

Key matters  

The key matters of an occupation contract include: 

  • the names of the landlord and contract-holder,   
  • the address of the property  
  • the landlord’s or agent’s address (these can be provided separately) 
  • the amount of rent due and how often  
  • whether it is a fixed term or a periodic contract  

Fundamental Terms

Fundamental terms are very important aspects of the contract and include:   

  • how you can be evicted  
  • the landlord’s responsibilities to keep the property fit to live in 
  • the landlord’s responsibilities to repair certain things 
  • how the landlord must deal with a deposit 

You can read more about fundamental terms here. 

Supplementary Terms

Supplementary terms deal with common day-to-day issues, and include: 

  • how and when you should report repairs  
  • what you need to do if you change a utility provider 
  • the requirement for the landlord to provide an inventory 

You can read more about supplementary terms here. 

Additional Terms 

Additional terms refer to anything else that is agreed. These terms should be fair in accordance with consumer law. Additional terms could include: 

  • whether you can keep pets 
  • anything else specific to the property such as parking. 

Model occupation contracts 

There is a  ‘model contract’  for each of the main types of occupation contract; secure, periodic standard and fixed term standard. The model contracts can be viewed on the Welsh government’s website here 

Can terms be changed or left out?

Some parts of the model contracts can be changed but not all.

There are rules about:

  • which terms can be changed or left out,
  • whether there needs to be agreement between the landlord and contract-holder, and
  • the procedure the landlord must follow.

Fundamental terms

Fundamental terms can only be changed or left out if you agree and think that the change puts you in a better position.  

Some fundamental terms can’t be changed or left out. For example, your landlord can’t change the term requiring your deposit to be protected. These terms will apply even if you and the landlord agree to change or remove them.  

If you and the landlord agree upon removing any fundamental terms this must be clearly identified in the contract.

More information about how fundamental terms work can be viewed here 

Supplementary terms

The landlord can offer you a contract which changes or leaves out the  supplementary terms that are in the model contracts. If a supplementary term is left out this term must be clearly identified in your written contract.

More information about how supplementary terms can be found here.

When should I receive the written contract? 

Your landlord must provide you with a written occupation contract within 14 days of the start date of your contract.

You can’t be charged a fee to be given the written contract but your landlord can request a reasonable fee for further copies.  

If you have a converted contract your landlord has until 1 June 2023 to provide you with a written contract. If you are not sure what kind of agreement you have, get help

What if I don’t receive my written occupation contract?  

If your landlord doesn’t provide you with a written contract you can take action in the county court.

The court can order the landlord to provide the written contract or make a ‘declaration’ of the contracts’ terms.

If they make a declaration, the contract will be the same as the Welsh government’s model contract unless you inform the court that you agreed to change or remove any terms. 

What if my written occupation contract is incomplete or incorrect? 

If your landlord provides you with a written contract that you think is incomplete or incorrect you can take action in the county court. 

The court can order the landlord to provide a complete and correct written contract or make a declaration of the contract terms. 

If fundamental or supplementary terms were left out, then the terms the Welsh government’s model contract will be included. 

 Get help if you are unsure whether your landlord has broken the rules about providing a written contract.  

Can I claim compensation if my landlord doesn’t follow the rules? 

Yes. If your landlord doesn’t provide a written contract or a correspondence address,  then you are entitled to compensation.

If your landlord provides a contract that is incomplete or incorrect, then you might be entitled to compensation if a court finds that the landlord intentionally gave an incorrect or incomplete written contract.

You are also be entitled to compensation if your contract has been changed but your landlord doesn’t give you a written statement of variation’, or a new written contract including the change.

The amount of compensation is 1 days’ rent for each day you haven’t received the contract. The maximum amount of compensation is 2 months’ rent. 

If you apply to the court for a declaration of your contract and compensation, you can ask the court to increase the amount of compensation if you believe the landlord intentionally broke the rules. 

The law allows you to ‘set off’ compensation against rent. This means that you can withhold rent payments up to the amount of compensation that is due.  

Get help if you are considering setting off compensation against rent, because it may be easier for the landlord to evict you if you fall behind with rent payments, especially if they claim you have 2 months or more of rent arrears. 

Can my landlord still evict me if they haven’t followed the rules? 

If your landlord didn’t:

  • give you a written contract, or
  • a correspondence address

within 14 days of the contract starting, they can’t give you a ‘no fault’ eviction notice.

Once you receive the written contract your landlord must wait 6 months until they can give you a ‘no fault’ notice.

If the landlord only failed to give you a correspondence address, once you receive this they will be able to serve a ‘no fault’ eviction notice.

However, it will still be possible for the landlord to evict you if you are in serious rent arrears or have breached your contract’s terms about antisocial behaviour. 

You can find out more information on our eviction advice pages.  

Get help if you receive a notice. Getting advice early might help you keep your home.

Agricultural occupiers’ rights

Agricultural occupiers’ rights

  • Most agricultural occupiers have strong rights against eviction 
  • Assured agricultural occupiers whose agreement began on or after 15 January 1989 have a can’t be evicted without a good reason
  • If you still live in the home and are no longer working in agriculture you keep the rights of an agricultural occupier

This page refers to farm workers renting their homes from their employers as ‘agricultural occupiers’. As this is a complicated area of law, you should get help from a Shelter Cymru adviser or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.  

How do I know if I am an agricultural occupier? 

You are an agricultural occupier if you meet certain conditions relating to the type of home you have, who your employer is, and the job you do. The conditions are shown below. 

The type of home you have
You have to live in a self-contained home. You will not be an agricultural occupier if you share a house with your landlord or if you live in a hostel. If your landlord provides services such as cleaning your home, you will not be an agricultural occupier. However, if your landlord provides meals, this does not affect your right to be an agricultural occupier.  

Who your employer is
Your employer must own the home you live in or have arranged for someone else to supply the home so that you can do your work. If your employer is the government, the royal family, a local authority, the Forestry Commission or a housing association, you will not be an agricultural occupier. However, all these employers should give you extra housing rights as part of your employment contract. Ask your employer or trade union about these rights. 

If you work for yourself on farm land that you rent, you probably have an ‘agricultural holding’ or a ‘Farm Business Tenancy’. Advice for these types of agreements is not included on this page and you should check Gov.uk guidance for further information. 

The job you do
You have to be an agricultural worker. 

This means the following: 

  • you work 35 hours or more a week (unless you have a permit to work shorter hours because of an industrial injury), and 
  • you have to work, for at least some of the time, with things like crops, livestock or forestry. Maintaining tractors and other equipment on the farm is included in this work. Just working on a fish farm, keeping animals mainly bullet for sport, or working in a research station do not count, and 
  • you have been employed in agriculture for 91 out of the last 104 weeks. Time from previous employers can be counted, as can time when you were on paid holiday or sick leave. If an industrial injury stopped you from working before you had worked 91 weeks, you will still pass this test. 

I meet all the conditions – what sort of renting agreement do I have? 

 If you moved into your home or became an agricultural occupier before 15 January 1989, you will have a protected or statutory agricultural tenancy. 

 If you moved into your home or became an agricultural occupier on or after 15 January 1989, but before 1 December 2022 and you have a community landlord you will have a converted secure occupation contract. You should be given a  written statement of your occupation contract on or before/by 1 June 2023 

 If you moved into your home or became an agricultural occupier on or after 15 January 1989, but before 1 December 2022 and you have a community landlord your agreement converted to a secure occupation contract on 1 December 2022. 

If you moved into your home or became an agricultural occupier on or after 15 January 1989, but before 1 December 2022 you have a private landlord you will have a converted standard occupation contract.  

Due to special rules converted secure or standard contract-holders that were assured agricultural occupier before  1 December 2022 can’t be evicted using the ‘no fault’ eviction procedure, providing you did not receive notice that your tenancy is a shorthold tenancy before or when you originally moved in. 

Also, succession rules that apply to secure contracts will apply to assured agricultural occupancies that converted into a standard contract. 

You should be given a written statement of your occupation contract on or before/by 1 June 2023 

 If you (moved into your home or) became an agricultural occupier on or after 1 December 2022 you will have a secure occupation contract if you have a community landlord, or a standard occupation contract if you have a private landlord. You should be given a written statement of your occupation contract within 14 days. 

I meet all the conditions but I am not working any more 

Once you have become an agricultural occupier, you will keep that tenancy or occupation contract, even if you lose your job. You may have retired, been sacked, been made redundant or given up your job, or you may not be able to work because of sickness – it does not matter. You are still an agricultural occupier and you will still have all the housing rights this gives you. 

What if I don’t meet the conditions? 

If you live in a separate home owned by your employer, you are probably an  occupier with basic protection and s/he will have to get a court order before s/he can evict you. If you do not need to live in the home in order to do your job you will have other housing rights. Get help if this is the case. 

If you share a house with your employer, you are probably an excluded occupier and s/he must give you reasonable notice before you have to leave. Check your agreement or employment contract as that may give you extra rights. 

How much rent will I have to pay? 

The amount of rent you pay, and the way that the amount of rent is decided depends on what type of agreement you have. 

I have a protected or statutory agricultural tenancy 

Your landlord will not usually charge you rent while you are working for her or him. Not paying rent does not affect or reduce your rights. 

Your landlord will probably start to charge you rent when you stop working for her or him. You can agree the amount of rent with your landlord, or you or your landlord can ask Rent Officers Wales to set a fair rent.  Rent Officers Wales is an independent government body. Fair rents are much lower than most rents paid to private landlords. 

I have a ______ occupation contract 

Your landlord will not usually charge you rent while you are working for her or him. Not paying rent does not affect or reduce your housing rights. If your landlord does charge you a ‘market rent’, this will be an amount agreed by you and your landlord. 

If your landlord gives you a notice about increasing your rent, you can ask a Rent Assessment Committee to set a rent. You can only go to the Rent Assessment Committee if you have not agreed to pay the rent increase your landlord asked for.  Get help if this is the case. 

Your landlord can charge you rent when you stop working for her or him, even if you paid no rent before. You can either agree a rent with your landlord or he or she must give you formal notice of the rent you must pay. If you receive formal notice of the rent you must pay, get it checked. If you do not agree to the amount of rent, ask the Rent Assessment Committee to set a rent. You should normally do this within one month of getting the notice. The rent notice will tell you what to do. The Rent Assessment Committee can lower or increase the amount of rent set out in the notice. 

What happens to my family if I die? 

If you have a protected or statutory agricultural tenancy, your wife, husband or partner will be able to take over the tenancy if s/he is living with you when you die. If you are not married or do not have a partner, a member of your family will be able to take over the tenancy if, when you die, s/he has lived with you for at least the previous two years. This type of tenancy can only be passed on once. 

Due to special rules, if you were an assured agricultural occupier that became a standard contract-holder succession rules will apply. This means that your wife, husband or partner will be able to take over your occupation contract, or if you die without a wife husband or partner, then a reserve successor may be able to take over your contract. You can read more detailed information about succession rules here. 

If you became an agricultural occupier on or after 1 December 2022, then succession rules will apply if you have a community landlord. If you have a private landlord, you should check your contract. 

Succession is a complex area of law and it is always best to get help if you are unsure. 

Can I stay in my home if the landlord wants me to leave? 

If you have an agricultural tenancy, you can stay in your home until a court issues a possession order telling you to leave. Your landlord may go to court for a possession order if you do not pay the rent, you break a condition of the tenancy, you cause a nuisance or you damage your home. Your landlord may give you written notice before going to court for a possession order. Get more advice if this happens. 

If you give up your job, are sacked or made redundant, or cannot work because of sickness, you can still stay in your home. If you stop working, your landlord may need your home for another farm worker. Get more advice if this happens. 

Repairs 

Your landlord normally has to repair the structure and outside of your home. This includes things like the roof, gutters and windows. Your landlord also has to repair and maintain the following: 

  • the system for heating your home and providing hot water, this does not include portable fires you own 
  • the system in your home for supplying gas, water and electricity, this includes toilets, baths and sinks. 

You must tell your landlord about any repairs that need doing. Your landlord will not have to repair any damage deliberately caused by you. The landlord is not normally responsible for decorating the inside of your home. 

If you have a _______ occupation contract, your landlord must also keep the property fit for human habitation

Further information 

This is only an introduction to agricultural renting agreements. For more information contact a Shelter Cymru office, Citizens Advice, housing advice centre or law centre. 

You could also contact: 

Occupiers with basic protection

Occupiers with basic protection

  • ‘Occupiers with basic protection have fewer rights against eviction than standard or secure contract-holders
  • Your landlord needs to serve a valid notice and get a court order to evict you

This section explains the rights you have if you have a private landlord and you are an occupier with basic protection. It covers the rights you have to live in your home and get repairs done. It also explains how you can end your tenancy and how your landlord can evict you. 

Checking your status 

It can be difficult to work out if you are an occupier with basic protection. You could be an occupier with basic protection if: 

  • You live in temporary accommodation and have been given a common law tenancy 
  • You live in supported accommodation and have been given a common law tenancy 
  • You live in a care institution and have been given a common law tenancy 

This is not a complete list of situations where you could be an occupier with basic protection. Get help if you are unsure. 

If any of the above apply to you but you received notice from your landlord that you have a standard occupation contract you might have stronger rights. If you have received this kind of notice you should be given a written statement of your occupation contract. If you have not received this kind of notice, then you are probably an occupier with basic protection or an excluded occupier. It is best to have a renting agreement in writing but even if your agreement is verbal it can still be legally binding.   

Your renting agreement might be for a set period such as six months (this is known as a fixed term agreement). Or it might roll on a week to week or month to month basis (this is known as a periodic agreement).  

It can be difficult to work out if you are an occupier with basic protection, so get help if you are unsure. 

The rights of occupiers with basic protection 

If you are an occupier with basic protection you have very few tenancy rights. It is important to remember how easy it is for your landlord to evict you. Because of this, it may be difficult for you to get repairs done or challenge rent increases. 

Your rent

You pay the rent that you agreed with your landlord. If you don’t pay your rent your landlord can evict you (see below). If you pay rent weekly your landlord has to provide a rent book. 

Your landlord cannot increase the rent during the fixed term unless you agree to the increase. If you are a periodic occupier your landlord can increase the rent at any time. You do not have the right to have the rent level set by a rent officer or rent assessment committee. 

Your rent should always be your top financial priority as you could lose your home if you get into rent arrears. If you are claiming benefits or have a low income, you may be able to claim housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs to help with the rent.

Repairs

The law says your landlord has to keep the structure and exterior of the property in good repair. This includes: 

  • the roof 
  • guttering 
  • walls (but this doesn’t include internal decoration) 
  • windows and doors. 

Your landlord must also keep the equipment for the supply of gas, electricity, heating, water and sanitation in good repair. Your landlord may have extra responsibilities to repair depending on what your tenancy agreement says. 

You are responsible for looking after the property. This might include unblocking a sink or changing a fuse when necessary. You may also have other responsibilities depending on what your tenancy agreement says. 

Your landlord must have a valid gas safety certificate for any gas appliances in the property. Any furniture provided should be fire resistant. 

If your accommodation needs repairs inform your landlord or agent. If the repairs are your landlord’s responsibility and are not done there may be ways you can force your landlord to carry out the work. 

Find out more about repairs here.

Passing your tenancy on to someone else

You have no rights to sublet or pass on your accommodation unless this is specifically set out in your agreement. If you attempt to pass your accommodation to someone else under any other circumstances your landlord can evict you and the person you attempt to pass the tenancy on to. 

 Your tenancy or license will continue until it is ended by you or your landlord. 

This can happen by: 

Surrender
A ‘surrender’ means that you and your landlord both agree to end the agreement. If a surrender is agreed it’s always best to put it in writing, including any conditions, so everyone knows where they stand. If you have a joint tenancy or license then all the occupiers and the landlord must agree to the surrender. Get your landlord’s agreement in writing if possible to avoid problems later. 

You give notice to end the agreement
If you have a periodic agreement you have to give whatever notice is specified in your agreement, but must not be less that 4 weeks’ notice. The notice should end on the first or last day of the rental period, unless your tenancy agreement says otherwise. For example, if you pay rent monthly and the agreement started on the 5th of the month, you can give the landlord 1 months’ notice which ends on the 4th or the 5th. Check with an adviser if you are unsure. Once the notice ends you no longer have any right to live in your home. 

If you have a fixed term agreement you will only be able to give notice during the fixed term if your agreement allows. The length of notice you have to give depends on what your agreement says. It is also possible to leave on the day your fixed term ends without giving any notice. 

Your landlord evicts you
Your landlord can evict you by giving you the notice is specified in your agreement, but this must not be less that 4 weeks’ notice. The notice should be in writing and in the form of a ‘notice to quit’. 

Protection from eviction

To evict you your landlord needs to then get a possession order from the courts. They do not need to provide a reason for the eviction to the courts. 

Illegal eviction
If your landlord tries to evict you without getting a court order it may be a criminal offence. Your local council should help if you have been illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord. 

Excluded occupiers

Excluded occupiers

  • If you share accommodation with your landlord you are probably an  ‘excluded occupier’
  • Excluded occupiers do not have strong rights against eviction

This section explains the rights you have if you have a private landlord and you are an excluded occupier. It also explains how you can end your renting agreement and how your landlord can evict you. 

Checking your status 

You are likely to be an excluded occupier if: 

  • Your landlord lives at the property and you share any of the accommodation (such as a kitchen, bathroom or living room) or 
  • you live in the same building as your landlord and share accommodation with a member of your landlord’s family or 
  • you are living in your accommodation for a holiday 
  • you do not pay any rent for your accommodation. 
  • you live in a hostel or refuge 

If you are not sure of your status, get help. 

However, if any of the above apply to you but you received notice from your landlord that you have a standard contract you might have stronger rights. If you have not received this kind of notice, then you are probably a ‘licensee ‘or ‘common law tenant’. It is best to have a renting agreement in writing but even if your agreement is verbal it can still be legally binding.  

Your renting agreement might be for a set period such as six months (this is known as a fixed term agreement). Or it might roll on a week to week or month to month basis (this is known as a periodic agreement). 

The rights of excluded occupiers 

If you are an excluded occupier you have very few rights, and it is easy for your landlord to evict you. Because of that it might be difficult for you to get repairs done or resist rent increases. 

As an excluded occupier your only right is to stay until your landlord asks you to go or for as long as your written agreement says. Your landlord can evict you by giving you reasonable notice (which can be verbal) and doesn’t need a court order. 

Your rent

You and your landlord agree the rent.  If you don’t pay your rent your landlord can evict you. If you pay rent weekly your landlord has to provide a rent book. 

Your landlord cannot increase the rent during the fixed term unless you agree to the increase.  

If you are a periodic occupier your landlord can increase the rent at any time. You don’t have the right to have the rent level set by a rent officer or rent assessment committee. 

Repairs

The law says your landlord has to keep the structure and exterior of the property in good repair. 

This includes: 

  • the roof 
  • guttering
  • walls (but this doesn’t include internal decoration) 
  • windows and doors. 

Your landlord must also keep the equipment for the supply of gas, electricity, heating, water and sanitation in good repair. Your landlord may have extra responsibilities to repair depending on what your agreement says. 

You are responsible for looking after the property. This might include unblocking a sink or changing a fuse when necessary. You may also have other responsibilities depending on what your agreement says. 

Your landlord must have a valid gas safety certificate for any gas appliances in the property. Any furniture provided should be fire resistant. 

If your accommodation needs repairs inform your landlord or agent. If the repairs are your landlord’s responsibility and are not done there may be ways you can force or encourage your landlord to carry out the work. 

You can find out more about repairs here.

Passing on your tenancy

You have no rights to sublet or pass on your tenancy other than those set out in your agreement. If you attempt to pass your accommodation to someone else under any other circumstances your landlord can evict you and the person you attempt to pass the tenancy on to. 

How your tenancy or license can be ended

Your tenancy or license will continue until it is ended by you or your landlord. 

This can happen by: 

Surrender

A ‘surrender’ means that you and your landlord both agree to end the agreement. If a surrender is agreed it’s always best to put it in writing, including any conditions, so everyone knows where they stand. If you have a joint tenancy or license then all the occupiers and the landlord must agree to the surrender. Get your landlord’s agreement in writing if possible to avoid problems later. 

You give notice to end the agreement

If you have a periodic agreement you have to give whatever notice is specified in your agreement, or ‘reasonable notice’, which is usually the same as one rental period (i.e. one week, if you pay the rent weekly).  

The notice should end on the first or last day of the rental period, unless your tenancy agreement says otherwise. For example, if you pay rent monthly and the agreement started on the 5th of the month, you can give the landlord notice which ends on the 4th or the 5th. Once the notice ends you no longer have any right to live in your home. 

If you have a fixed term agreement you will only be able to give notice during the fixed term if your agreement allows. The length of notice you have to give depends on what your agreement says. It is also possible to leave on the day your fixed term ends without giving any notice. 

Your landlord evicts you

Your landlord can evict you once you have been given reasonable notice. The notice can be given verbally. You have to leave once the notice expires. Your landlord does not have to get a court order, but it is a criminal offence for your landlord to use or threaten violence while evicting you. 

For more information, see our advice about eviction of excluded occupiers    .

Periodic Standard Occupation Contracts

Periodic standard contracts

  • A periodic standard occupation contract is a type of renting agreement usually given by private landlord     
  • If you have a periodic standard contract, your landlord does not always need to provide a reason if they want to evict you
  • Your landlord can only evict you by giving you a valid notice and getting a court order 

If you moved into your home before 1 December 2022 the information below does not apply to you. Please visit our converted contracts advice section.

This page explains your rights if you have a periodic standard occupation contract with a private landlord. It covers the rights you have to live in your home without interference and to get repairs done.

Do I have a periodic standard contract? 

A periodic standard contract is one of 2 types of occupation contracts that private landlords can give. ‘Periodic’ means that your contract is not for a fixed period of time, but continues from one rental period to the next. The other type of contract a private landlord can give is a fixed term standard contract. 

In some situations you can rent from a private landlord and not have a periodic or fixed term standard contract. Please see here for these exceptions. 

What information should I be given at the start of my contract?  

Your landlord must give you a written contract within 14 days of your contract starting. The contract will explain your rights and the responsibilities that you and your landlord have. It must also contain certain information.  If your landlord doesn’t give you the written contract or the information in it is wrong, find out what you can do here.

You should also be given:   

 

If your landlord has not provided the above information, they may not be able to evict you using a ‘no fault’ notice. If your landlord has given you an eviction notice get help.

Can I be evicted?  

If you have a periodic standard contract, your landlord can only evict you by giving you written notice and getting a possession order from the county court.    

Your landlord doesn’t need to provide a reason to end a periodic standard occupation contract. This is usually referred to as a ‘no fault’ eviction.  

To use the ‘no fault’ procedure your landlord must have given you certain information, and complied with deposit protection and licensing rules. Your landlord is also not allowed to evict you just because you asked for repairs  to be done in your home. 

For more information, see our advice about eviction of periodic standard contract-holders.

Get help if you have received a notice from your landlord.

Illegal eviction 

If your landlord tries to evict you without getting a court order it may be a criminal offence. Your local council should help if you have been illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord. You may also be able to get a court order to force your landlord to allow you back into the property. Get help urgently if you are in this situation.

What are the rules on rent and rent increases? 

Paying rent 

You must pay the rent that you agreed with your landlord. If you don’t pay your rent your landlord can take court action to evict you

Read your contract to see what it says about how the rent should be paid. If your rent is due weekly your landlord has to provide a rent book. 

Rent increases 

If your landlord wants to increase your rent they have to give you 2 months’ written notice on a RHW12 form. They can only increase your rent once a year.  

It is difficult to challenge rent increases when renting from a private landlord. Get help if you are thinking about challenging a rent increase.

 

Your rent should always be your top financial priority as you could lose your home if you get into rent arrears. If you are claiming benefits or have a low income, you may be able to claim housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs to help with the rent.

Can my landlord change my contract? 

Your contract can only be changed if you agree. Terms that can be changed are:  

If you agree to changes to any fundamental, supplementary or additional term, your landlord should give you a ‘written statement of variation’, or a new written contract in full, including the change, within 14 days. If your landlord fails to provide you with either of these, get help. 

If your landlord wants to vary your contract, they might choose to evict you if you do not agree to the variation. Get help if you are unsure. 

For more information about terms that apply to periodic standard occupation contracts, and fundamental terms that can’t be changed, see our advice about fundamental terms and supplementary terms.  

Should my landlord be registered? 

Yes. Every private landlord in Wales should be registered with the Rent Smart Wales scheme. In addition, landlords who self-manage those properties, or agents who have been appointed by the landlord, must have a license. 

You can check if your landlord and/or agent is registered or licensed by searching the public register. If they are not registered and/or licensed they might be committing a criminal offence and could face penalties. See our pages on landlord registration and licensing for more information.

Who is responsible for repairs? 

Your landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is fit to live in and kept in good repair. This includes dealing with: 

  • problems with the roof, guttering, windows, doors and brickwork  
  • plumbing, gas and electricity. 

Your landlord should give you information about what repairs you are responsible for, which usually includes internal decoration and putting right any damage you cause. 

If your home needs repairs, report the problem to your landlord straight away. Your landlord should carry out the necessary repairs within a reasonable time after they are made aware of them. 

Find out more about repairs if you have a private landlord here.

Your right to live in your home without interference 

You have the right to live in your home without interference from the landlord or anyone acting on their behalf. If your landlord tries to do this s/he may be guilty of harassment, which is against the law. To find out more about what you can do if your landlord is harassing you, read our advice about harassment and illegal eviction. 

Getting other people to live with you 

You should check your occupation contract to see if you can allow other people to live with you. Usually you will be allowed ‘permitted occupiers’ (for example a partner) but your contract might not permit you to take in a lodger or sublet any of the property.

Can I add a joint contract-holder? 

Your contract should give you the right to add a joint contract-holder if your landlord agrees. This is a fundamental term of secure, periodic standard and fixed term standard contracts. Find out more here. 

Can I transfer my contract to someone else? 

You can’t usually transfer a periodic standard contract someone else. Even if your contract allows you to transfer to someone else, it is likely to require the consent of the landlord to do so.

Can I pass on my contract when I die? 

As a periodic standard contract-holder, there are rules about who the contract can be passed on to. The legal process for passing your contract on when you die is called ‘succession’. The rules for succession rights can be complicated.

How can I end my occupation contract? 

If you want to end your periodic standard occupation contract and leave your home you should give the landlord the correct notice in writing. The minimum length of notice you should give your landlord is 4 weeks.

Fixed Term Standard Occupation Contracts

Fixed term standard contracts

  • A fixed term standard occupation contract is a type of renting agreement usually given by private landlord     
  • If you have a fixed term standard contract you can only be evicted during the fixed term if you breach the contract 
  • Your landlord has to get a court order to evict you.

If you moved into your home before 1 December 2022 the information below does not apply to you. Please visit our converted contracts advice section. 

This section explains the rights you have if you have a fixed term standard occupation contract with a private landlord. It covers the rights you have to live in your home without interference and to get repairs done.

Do I have a fixed term standard contract? 

A fixed term standard contract is one of 2 types of occupation contracts that private landlords can give. ‘Fixed term’ means that your contract is for a fixed period of time, and the contract must specify a start and end date. The other type of contract a private landlord can give is a periodic standard contract. 

In some situations you can rent from a private landlord and not have a periodic or fixed term standard contract. Please see here for these exceptions.

What information should I be given at the start of my contract?  

Your landlord must give you a written contract within 14 days of your contract starting. The contract will explain your rights and the responsibilities that you and your landlord have. It must also contain certain information. If your landlord doesn’t give you the written contract or the information in it is wrong, find out what you can do here.

You should also be given:   

 

If your landlord has not provided the above information, they may not be able to evict you using a ‘no fault’ (landlord’s break clause) notice. If your landlord has given you an eviction notice get help.

Can I be evicted?  

If you have a fixed term standard occupation contract, your landlord can’t evict you during the fixed term unless you have breached the contract or if your contract contains a landlord’s break clause. A break clause is a term that allows your landlord to end the contract during the fixed term. You should check your contract to see if it has a break clause. 

To use the a break clause to evict you your landlord must have given you certain information, and complied with deposit protection and licensing rules.Your landlord is also not allowed to evict you  using a break clause just because you asked for repairs  to be done in your home.

Your landlord must follow the correct procedure by giving you written notice and getting a court order.

For more information see our advice about eviction of fixed term standard contract-holders.

If you receive a notice from your landlord, get help. 

Illegal eviction 

If your landlord tries to evict you without getting a court order it may be a criminal offence. Your local council should help if you have been illegally evicted or harassed by your landlord. You may also be able to get a court order to force your landlord to allow you back into the property. Get help urgently if you are in this situation.

What are the rules on rent and rent increases? 

Paying rent 

You must pay the rent that you agreed with your landlord. If you don’t pay your rent your landlord can take court action to evict you

Read your contract to see what it says about how the rent should be paid. 

 Rent increases 

If you have a fixed term standard contract your landlord cannot increase your rent during the fixed term. 

Your rent should always be your top financial priority as you could lose your home if you get into rent arrears. If you are claiming benefits or have a low income, you may be able to claim housing benefit or Universal Credit housing costs to help with the rent. 

Can my landlord change my contract? 

Your contract can only be changed if you agree. Terms that can be changed are:  

If you agree to changes to any fundamental, supplementary or additional term, your landlord should give you a ‘written statement of variation’, or a new written occupation contract in full, including the change, within 14 days. If your landlord fails to provide you with either of these, get help. 

For more information about terms that apply to fixed term standard occupation contracts, and fundamental terms that can’t be changed, see our advice about fundamental terms and supplementary terms. 

Should my landlord be registered? 

Yes. Every private landlord in Wales should be registered with the Rent Smart Wales scheme. In addition, landlords who self-manage those properties, or agents who have been appointed by the landlord, must have a license. 

You can check if your landlord and/or agent is registered or licensed by searching the public register. If they are not registered and/or licensed they might be committing a criminal offence and could face penalties. They may not be able to evict you. See our pages on landlord registration and licensing for more information.

Who is responsible for repairs? 

Your landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is fit to live in and kept in good repair. This includes dealing with: 

  • problems with the roof, guttering, windows, doors and brickwork  
  • plumbing, gas and electricity. 

Your landlord should give you information about what repairs you are responsible for, which usually includes internal decoration and putting right any damage you cause. 

If your home needs repairs, report the problem to your landlord straight away. Your landlord should carry out the necessary repairs within a reasonable time after they are made aware of them. 

Find out more about repairs if you have a private landlord here.

Your right to live in your home without interference 

You have the right to live in your home without interference from the landlord or anyone acting on their behalf. If your landlord tries to do this s/he may be guilty of harassment, which is against the law. To find out more about what you can do if your landlord is harassing you, read our advice about harassment and illegal eviction. 

Getting other people to live with you 

You should check your occupation contract to see if you can allow other people to live with you. Usually you will be allowed ‘permitted occupiers’ (for example a partner) but your contract might not permit you to take in a lodger or sublet any of the property.

Can I add a joint contract-holder? 

Your contract should give you the right to add a joint contract-holder if your landlord agrees. This is a fundamental term of secure, periodic standard and fixed term standard contracts. Find out more here. 

Can I transfer my occupation contract to someone else? 

You can’t usually transfer a fixed term standard contract someone else. Even if your contract allows you to transfer to someone else, it is likely to require the consent of the landlord to do so. 

Can I pass on my contract when I die?  

As a fixed term standard contract-holder, there are rules about who the contract can be passed on to. The legal process for passing your contract on when you die is called ‘succession’. The rules for succession rights can be complicated.

What happens at the end of my fixed term standard occupation contract?   

If you continue living in your home beyond the end of the fixed term, your contract will automatically become a periodic standard contract unless you and your landlord agree to a new fixed term contract.  Check your initial fixed term standard contract to see if there will be any changes to the fundamental or supplementary terms when it automatically becomes a periodic standard contract.  

Your landlord will not usually need to provide a new written occupation contract for a periodic standard contract that arises at the end of a fixed term standard contract. If you are unsure about the terms of your occupation contract after the end of the fixed term, get help. 

How can I end my fixed term occupation contract?  

If you have a fixed term standard contract you usually cannot end the contract early unless your landlord agrees to a ‘surrender’ or if the contract contains a ‘contract-holder’s break clause’.

If your contract has a break clause, the contract should explain the circumstances in which you can end the contract. By law, you need to give at least 4 weeks’ notice in writing to your landlord, unless the contract states you must give longer notice.

Standard occupation contracts with private landlords

Standard occupation contracts with private landlords

Standard occupation contracts with private landlords – quick links: 

  1. Fixed term standard contracts 
  2. Periodic standard contracts 
  3. Renting agreements that are not occupation contracts 

If you moved into your home before 1 December 2022 the information below does not apply to you. Please visit our converted contracts advice section. 

Do I have a standard occupation contract? 

Most people renting their home from a private landlord have a standard occupation contract.  There are 2 types of standard contract private landlords can give: fixed term standard occupation contracts and periodic standard occupation contracts.  

In some situations you can rent from a private landlord but you will not have a standard occupation contract. Find out about these exceptions here. 

Community landlords can give standard occupation contracts but only in certain circumstances  

Take a look at our advice pages below to find out more about your rights if you have a standard occupation contract.