Renting from a private landlord

Renting from a private landlord

If you rent your home and your landlord is not the council or a housing association then you have a private landlord  

Most renting agreements given by private landlords are standard occupation contractsThere are two main types of standard occupation contract: 

  • Fixed term standard contracts – this means your contract lasts for a specific length of time (but you can’t be evicted at the end of the fixed term without a court order), and;  
  • Periodic standard contracts – this means your contract does not have an end date, but rolls forward with each rental period. 

There are some situations where you might have a  different kind of renting agreement. For example, if you share certain parts of the accommodation with your landlord you may not have a standard contract. 

If you are not sure what type of contract you have get help. 

Take a look at the options below to find out more. 

Can a community landlord give me a standard occupation contract?

Standard contracts with community landlords

  • People renting from community landlords will usually have a  secure occupation contract    
  • In some circumstances, community landlords can give standard occupation contracts
  • It is usually easier for a community landlord to evict standard occupation contract-holders 

If you rent your home from a community landlord you probably have a secure occupation contract. However, you may have a standard occupation contract if: 

This is not a full list of examples.

Standard contracts ‘by notice’

If a community landlord wants to give you a standard contract for a reason not listed above, they should give you a  ‘section 13’  notice when the contract starts or before. If you moved in before 1 December 2022 your community landlord has until 1 February 2023 to give you notice that you have a converted standard occupation contract rather than a converted secure contract. You can ask the county court to review the decision to give this notice. 

Getting advice if you ask for a county court review 

If you have been given a standard occupation contract by a community landlord for one of the reasons above, or for any other reason, it is best to get help if you want to challenge it in the county court. This area of the law is complex so it is always best to talk about your options with an adviser. 

Challenging community landlord decisions

Challenging community landlord decisions

If you disagree with a community landlord’s decision you might be able to ask the landlord or the county court, to look at it again. This is called ‘asking for a review’. 

What decisions can community landlords review?

You have the right to ask your landlord to review their decisions to: 

How do I ask for a review?

If you have a right to a review, you usually have to ask for the review within 14 days of receiving the decision, so it is important that you act quickly. The date will start from the date that you receive the letter, not the date printed on the letter. It is always a good idea to keep the letter and envelope in case there is any dispute about when you received it. 

Where possible, it is always best to ask for any review in writing and keep a copy of the letter.

If you want to ask for a review after 14 days has passed, get help immediately. It will be up to your landlord to decide whether to accept a late request so make sure you explain the reasons why you did not ask for the review within the 14 days.  

It’s always best to get legal advice if you want to ask for a review. Contact Shelter Cymru for help and advice. 

What will happen during the review?

Once your landlord receives a request for a review, they must write to you and ask you to send in further supporting information. You should be given at least 5 days to do this. This is your chance to give your landlord more information about your situation and the reasons why you disagree with their decision. 

Your landlord might deal with the review by looking at all of the documents but, if you prefer, you can ask for the review to be carried out by a hearing, or you can agree for it to be done virtually (for example by video-link or telephone). 

If the review is going to be dealt with by a hearing your landlord should write to you with details of where it is going to be held and give you at least 10 days’ notice. You can take someone with you to the hearing to help you and ask questions if you want. 

The review has to be carried out by someone who wasn’t involved in the original decision.  

How will I find out about the review decision?

Once the review has been completed, your landlord should tell you the decision they have made.  If the decision is unfavourable they should write to you and tell you the reasons for the decision.  

If the outcome of the review is still to extend an introductory standard or prohibited conduct standard contract, then the letter must also tell you that you can apply to the court court for a further review within 14 days. 

If you think the review decision is wrong or if you don’t get a decision letter by the time the original introductory or probation period ends get help. You may be able to apply for a county court review. 

Asking the county court for a review

Some community landlord decisions can be reviewed by a county court. These are: 

  • a review decision confirming the extension of an introductory standard contract
  • a review decision confirming the extension of the probation period of a prohibited conduct standard contract 
  • a decision to serve a ‘section 13 notice’ informing you that you have a standard contract  
  • a decision not to give a supported standard contract in supported accommodation
  • a decision by a community landlord or private landlord to refuse to give  consent to do some things that are allowed by the contract (e.g. add a joint contract-holder)

Most court applications must be made within 14 days of the decision so it is important that you get help quickly if you want to do this. You will only be allowed to make an application to court after 14 days if you have a good reason for missing the deadline. 

If you have a prohibited conduct standard contract, you can also apply to end the probation period early if you think this type of contract is no longer necessary, or you have not been offered support in relation to preventing the antisocial behaviour.

Applying to court in the above situations can be complicated so always get help if you are thinking of doing this. 

Asking for a county court review during eviction proceedings

In some circumstances you can ask the county court to review the decision to evict you. This applies if: 

  • you have an introductory standard contract or a prohibited conduct standard contract and are being evicted using the ‘no fault’ procedure 
  • you have an introductory standard contract or a prohibited conduct standard contract and are being evicted for serious rent arrears 
  • you gave notice to end the contract but didn’t move out and your community landlord is claiming possession
  • you have another type of standard contract with a community landlord and are being evicted using a ‘no fault’ notice or for serious rent arrears

Supported accommodation: Supported standard contracts

Supported accommodation: Supported standard contracts

  • If you receive support as part of living in your home you might live in supported accommodation
  • You might become a supported standard contract-holder after 6 months, unless your landlord extends this period
  • If you have a supported standard contract you can be asked to leave your home temporarily

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 supported standard occupation contract with a community landlord or charity. It covers the rights you have to live in your home without being disturbed and to get repairs done. 

It does not explain your rights and responsibilities if you have a licence or common law tenancy in supported accommodation. For information about this, click here.

Do I have a supported standard occupation contract? 

You could have a supported standard occupation contract if: 

  • you receive support as part of living in your home
  • your landlord is a community landlord or a registered charity 
  • your landlord has given you a notice telling you that you have a supported standard contract, 
  • you have been living in supported accommodation for 6 months or more 

What information should I get at the start of my contract? 

Your landlord must give you a written contract within 14 days of you becoming a supported standard contract-holder. 

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:  

  • a contact address for your landlord  
  • a copy of the annual gas safety check dated within the last year 
  • an electrical installation condition report dated within the last 5 years 
  • an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) dated within the last 10 years 

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

Can my landlord evict me? 

Yes. Your landlord may decide to evict you if you breach your occupation contract or for other reasons. 

It is usually quite easy for your landlord to evict you under a supported standard contract.  

Your landlord has to follow the right procedure by giving you a valid notice and getting a court order,  but they don’t have to prove a legal reason to the court.  

Once you receive the notice, you may be able to ask your landlord to review their decision to evict you.  

For more information please see eviction of supported standard contract-holders  .  

If you receive a notice asking you to leave supported accommodation, get help. 

Can my landlord ask me to leave temporarily? 

Your landlord can ask you to leave your home for a maximum of 48 hours if you have: 

  •  used violence against someone in your home or on the premises 
  •  behaved in a way that causes a risk of significant harm to others, or 
  • behaved in a way that could prevent other residents from receiving support. 

Your landlord should give you a notice (on form RHW15), giving reasons why they want you to leave. If you get a notice telling you to move out temporarily get help straight away. 

You can’t be asked to leave your home temporarily on more than 3 occasions in any 6-month period. 

Your landlord or support provider should have a policy that explains when they might use this term. It should also explain what steps they’ll take to avoid exclusion and any arrangements to ensure you don’t have to sleep rough.

Can I be moved to other accommodation? 

Your contract may also give your landlord the right to move you to different accommodation. This is called a ‘mobility’ clause, and you should check your contract to see if this is allowed.  

A mobility clause might be used instead of excluding you temporarily to avoid conflict with other residents. It shouldn’t be used unless it is necessary in order to protect you or other residents or ensure that effective support can be given. 

If your landlord asks you to move to another property in the building, it is worth considering whether they will exclude or evict you if you refuse. Get help if you are in this situation. 

What are the rules on rent and rent increases? 

If you have a supported standard contract and your landlord wants to increase your rent, they must give you at least 2 months’ notice.  

If your landlord wants to increase your rent less than a year after the last rent increase, get help. 

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. It is a good idea to talk to your landlord if you have any concerns about paying rent. 

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Can the landlord change my contract? 

Your landlord can change:  

Changes can only be made by agreement. If any changes are agreed, your landlord should give you a ‘written statement of variation’ within 14 days. They may choose to give you the full written contract again, including the changed term. If your landlord does not provide either of these, find out what you can do here.

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. 

If your home needs repairs, report the problem to your landlord straight away. They should have a 24-hour service for emergencies and proper procedures for carrying out any work involved. 

Find out more about repairs 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 they 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. 

Can I take in lodgers or sublet my home? 

You don’t normally have the right to take in a lodger or sublet part of your home while you are a supported standard contract-holder. If you do so without written permission from your landlord, they may decide to evict you. 

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 someone else take over my supported standard occupation contract if I die?  

If you die while you have a supported standard occupation contract there are rules about who the contract can be passed on to. This is called succession.

Can I get a transfer or exchange? 

Not while you are in supported accommodation. You will have to wait until you get settled accommodation. Even then, it will only be possible to exchange your home if you are given a secure occupation contract with a community landlord. 

How can I end a supported standard occupation contract? 

If you want to end your standard 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.

What if I have a complaint? 

If you feel that your landlord isn’t treating you fairly or has failed to fulfil its responsibilities, you should use their official complaints procedure. You usually have to do this before you can take things any further. 

If you’re not happy with the response you get, you might be able to complain further to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. 

Licenses, rights and responsibilities

Supported accommodation – licences and common law tenancies

  • If you receive support as part of living in your home you might live in supported accommodation
  • When you first move into supported accommodation, you will probably have a licence or common law tenancy for the first 6 months
  • You can usually be evicted quite easily if you have a licence or common law tenancy

This page explains your rights if you have a licence or common law tenancy in supported accommodation. It does not explain your rights and responsibilities if you have a supported standard occupation contract with a community landlord or charity. For information about this, click here.

I live in supported accommodation. Do I have a licence or common law tenancy?  

You might have a licence or a common law tenancy in supported accommodation if:  

  • You moved in less than 6 months ago and your landlord chose not to give you a supported standard contract, or  
  • You moved in more than 6 months ago and your landlord has given you a notice extending your licence or common law tenancy

You should check the documents your landlord or support provider gave you to see what kind of agreement you have. If your landlord or support provider can enter the accommodation or require you to move to a different room then you probably have a licence. If your agreement gives you the right to control who enters your home then you will probably have a common law tenancy.

What information should my landlord give me? 

When you move in to supported accommodation, you will probably be given a written licence or tenancy agreement. You should read the agreement thoroughly so that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities and those of your landlords. There may be rules about visitors or curfews in the accommodation, so be sure to check.  If you are unsure about the terms of your agreement get help. 

When will I be given a supported standard contract? 

When you have been living in supported accommodation for 6 months you will automatically become a supported standard contract-holder, unless your landlord has extended the period of your licence or common law tenancy. 

How can my landlord extend my licence or common law tenancy? 

Your landlord can only extend your common law tenancy or licence for 3 months by giving you a written  ‘notice of extension’  setting out the reasons for the extension. The notice must be given to you at least 4 weeks before the end of the initial 6-month period.

There is no limit on the number of extensions you can be given but you must be given a notice at least 4 weeks before the end of each extended period.

Your landlord must speak to you before giving you the notice to hear your views and discuss any issues. They might take into account your behaviour or that of your visitors in making the decision.

If your landlord or support provider is a registered charity they may have to obtain the council’s consent for their decision not to give you a supported standard contract and to extend your licence or common law tenancy.

Can I challenge the notice of extension?

You can apply to the county court for a ‘judicial review’ of the landlord’s decision to extend your licence or common law tenancy. You have to apply within 14 days of receiving the notice.  

If the court finds there is a fault in the way the decision has been made it can either: 

  • dismiss the notice of extension 
  • change the period your licence or tenancy is extended 

If the court decides to do either of the above, your landlord can serve a new notice of extension within 14 days. If the landlord doesn’t give you a new notice of extension, you will become a supported standard contract-holder. 

Challenging decisions in this way can be very difficult so get help if you do this. 

Can I be evicted? 

Yes. Your landlord may decide to evict you if you breach your agreement or for other reasons. If you have a common law tenancy or a license agreement you can be evicted quite easily.

For more information, see our advice about eviction of licensees or common law tenants from supported accommodation. 

If you receive a notice asking you to leave supported accommodation, get help. It may be difficult to find anywhere else to live if you don’t take action quickly. 

Can my landlord ask me to leave temporarily? 

If you have a licence or common law tenancy, your landlord does not usually have the right to ask you to leave your accommodation temporarily. However, it is worth bearing in mind that you can be evicted very easily if you have a licence, so it is always best to try and work through any problems you are having with your accommodation. Get help if your landlord has asked you to move out for a period. 

Can I be moved to another room within the building? 

Some licences in supported accommodation might allow your landlord or support provider to move you to another part of the building. This might be used to avoid conflict with other residents, for example.  

If you have been given a common law tenancy, your landlord does not have the right to move you from one property to another. 

If your landlord asks you to move to another property in the building, it is worth considering whether they will evict you if you refuse. Get help if you are in this situation. 

What are the rules on rent and rent increases? 

If you have a licence or common law tenancy your landlord can increase the rent at any time. However, if you have a fixed term agreement your landlord cannot increase the rent during the 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. It is a good idea to talk to your landlord if you have any concerns about paying rent. 

Can my landlord change the terms of my agreement? 

If you have a periodic licence or tenancy (this means that it rolls from one rental period to the next) then your landlord may be able to change the terms of your agreement. They should inform you of any changes they are making.  

If your agreement is for a fixed term, then the terms of the agreement can only be changed if you agree to it. 

Who is responsible for repairs? 

Your landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is 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. 

If your home needs repairs, report the problem to your landlord straight away. They should have a 24-hour service for emergencies and proper procedures for carrying out any work involved.  

Find out more about repairs here.

Can I take in lodgers or sublet my home? 

You don’t normally have the right to take in a lodger or sublet part of your home while you are living in supported accommodation. If you do so without written permission from your landlord, they may decide to evict you. 

Can I add someone else on to the agreement? 

You probably don’t have the right to add other people on to your renting agreement if you have a licence or common law tenancy in supported accommodation. Check your agreement to make sure. 

Can someone else take over my agreement when I die? 

If you have a licence or common law tenancy, your agreement can only someone who is also named on the agreement jointly with you will be able to continue with the agreement if you die. This is called ‘survivorship’. 

Can I get a transfer or exchange? 

Not while you are in supported accommodation. You will have to wait until you get settled accommodation. Even then, it will only be possible to exchange your home  if you are given a secure contract with a community landlord. 

How can I end my renting agreement? 

If you want to end your renting agreement 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.

What if I have a complaint? 

If you feel that your landlord isn’t treating you fairly or has failed to fulfil its responsibilities, you should use their official complaints procedure. You usually have to do this before you can take things any further. 

If you’re not happy with the response you get, you might be able to complain further to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. 

Supported accommodation

Supported accommodation

Supported accommodation quick links: 

  1. Supported standard contracts 
  2. Supported accommodation: licences and common law tenancies 
  3. Eviction from supported accommodation 

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

Do I live in ‘supported accommodation’? 

Supported accommodation is a type of housing provided by a community landlord or a registered charity where you can receive support for a number of issues. This could include: 

  • substance misuse issues 
  • securing employment 
  • living, or preparing to live, independently 
  • finding alternative accommodation 

Support means you could be receiving advice, training, guidance or counselling as part of your support. 

If you are given support and your home was provided on the condition that you receive support while living there, then it is probably classed as supported accommodation. 

What type of agreement will I have when I first move in? 

If you live in supported accommodation you can have either either a licence, a common law tenancy or a supported standard contract.

When you first move in your landlord can give you a common law tenancy or licence for the first 6 months. You will then automatically become a supported standard contract-holder unless your landlord extends your current agreement for 3 months by giving you a written ‘notice of extension’. Your landlord can extend the agreement for 3 months as many times as they want to as long as they follow the correct procedure.

For more information about the type of supported accommodation agreement you have, please click one of the options below. If you are not sure what type of agreement you have, get help. 

Temporary accommodation standard occupation contracts

Temporary accommodation standard occupation contracts

  • Temporary accommodation is provided by the council if you make a homelessness application and are in ’priority need
  • People living in temporary housing can usually be evicted quite easily  
  • In some circumstances you might have a standard contract in temporary accommodation, which gives you stronger rights

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 are living in temporary accommodation under a standard occupation contract with a community landlord or a private landlord. It covers the rights you have to live in your home without being disturbed and to get repairs done.

It does not explain your rights and responsibilities if you are in temporary accommodation under a licence or common law tenancy. Please see our advice about licences and common law tenancies in temporary accommodation. 

If you are living in temporary accommodation and not sure whether you have a standard occupation contract, licence or common law tenancy, the information here should help you work out which kind of renting agreement you have. 

Living in temporary accommodation can sometimes leave you feeling isolated and stressed. We’ve put together a few tips that can help you in our Temporary Accommodation Survival Guide. Click to download your copy in either English or Welsh: 

English | Cymraeg 

Do I have a temporary accommodation standard contract?  

You have a standard contract in temporary accommodation if:  

  • your landlord is the council and they have a duty to secure housing 
  • you have a housing association or private landlord and it has been 12 months or more since the council notified you of their homelessness decision  
  • you are living in privately rented accommoation that is not classed as Bed and Breakfast and it has been 12 months or more since the council notified you of their homelessness decision  

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. 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: 

  • a contact address for your landlord  
  • a copy of the annual gas safety check dated within the last year 
  • an electrical installation condition report dated within the last 5 years 
  • an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) dated within the last 10 years  

 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? 

Yes. Your landlord may evict you if you breach your occupation contract or if the council make a decision to end their homelessness duty to you.

If you are being asked to leave your temporary accommodation, it does not necessarily mean that the council will not have to help you in other ways. It will depend upon whether the council has other duties to you following your homeless application. 

For more information, see our advice about eviction of standard contract-holders from temporary accommodation.

Get help immediately if you are threatened with eviction for any reason. It may be difficult to find anywhere else to live if you don’t take action quickly. 

What are the rules on rent and rent increases? 

If your landlord wants to increase your rent, they must give at least two months’ notice before the new rent is payable. If your landlord wants to increase your rent less than a year after the last rent increase, get help. 

Paying 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. It is a good idea to talk to your support provider if you have any concerns about paying rent. 

Can my landlord change my contract? 

If you have a temporary accommodation standard contract your landlord can change:  

Changes can only be made by agreement. 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 doesn’t give you the written contract or the information in it is wrong, find out what you can do here. 

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. They should have a 24-hour service for emergencies and proper procedures for carrying out any work involved.  

Find out more about repairs 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. 

When will I get longer-term accommodation? 

If the council has accepted a ‘relief duty’, they should take reasonable steps to help you find longer-term accommodation. If, after 56 days, you have not found longer-term accommodation, the council will make a decision about whether they have a duty to secure accommodation for you.  

If they do not have a duty to secure accommodation, they may not have to give you any further help. You can ask for a review of their decision. If you are in this situation, get help. 

However, if the council decides that they do have a duty to secure accommodation, there is no limit as to how long you can stay in the temporary accommodation so long as: 

  • it remains suitable for you 
  • you stick to any conditions that are included in your occupation contract 

For more information about how the council should help you, please see our advice about getting help from the council 

Can I take in lodgers or sublet the accommodation? 

While you are in temporary accommodation you do not have the right to take in a lodger or sublet part of your home, unless your landlord gives you permission. If you do so without permission, both you and the person you rent to can be evicted very easily. 

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 all types of occupation contracts. Find out more here. 

Can someone else take over my contract when I die? 

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

Can I get a transfer or exchange? 

Not while you are in temporary accommodation. You will have to wait until you get settled accommodation. Even then, it will only be possible to exchange your home if you are given a secure contract with a community landlord. 

What if the temporary accommodation is unsuitable? 

If you don’t think the temporary accommodation is suitable, you should tell the council. If the council doesn’t offer you anything else, get help. An adviser may be able to help you to convince the council that you should be offered something more suitable for your needs. Find out more about unsuitable temporary accommodation here. 

Where can I get help and support? 

If you’re having problems in temporary accommodation for any reason, get in touch with an adviser. Don’t wait until things get really bad. If you end up homeless again, it may be more difficult to get help from the council in future. 

Advisers may be able to offer: 

  • practical help (for example if you have mobility problems) 
  • mediation services to help sort out disagreements with others 
  • treatment and support to help you with drug or alcohol problems 
  • advice on how to deal with money problems such as rent arrears or other debts 
  • help with mental health problems or learning disabilities. 

For more details of how to get help and advice click here. 

How can I end a standard occupation contract? 

If you want to end your standard 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. 

What if I have a complaint? 

If you disagree with any decision the council has made on your homelessness application, it may be possible to challenge the decision and get it overturned. 

If you feel that the council isn’t treating you fairly or has failed to fulfil its other responsibilities, you can also complain using their official complaints procedure. If you’re not happy with the response you get, you can complain further to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. 

Licenses, rights and responsibilities

Temporary accommodation: Licenses, rights and responsibilities

  • When you first move into temporary accommodation you will have a licence or common law tenancy
  • If you have a licence in temporary accommodation you can usually be evicted easily
  • You should be given reasonable notice if your landlord wants to evict you

This page explains your rights if you made a homelessness application and are living in temporary accommodation under a licence or common law tenancy. It covers rights and responsibilities about repairs, eviction among other things. It also explains how you can end your contract and when your landlord can evict you. 

It does not explain your rights and responsibilities if you are living in temporary accommodation under a standard occupation contract. Please see our advice about temporary accommodation standard occupation contracts. If you live in temporary accommodation and aren’t sure what kind of renting  agreement you have, the information here should help you. 

Living in temporary accommodation can sometimes leave you feeling isolated and stressed. We’ve put together a few tips that can help you in our Temporary Accommodation Survival Guide. Click to download your copy in either English or Welsh: 

English | Cymraeg

I am in temporary housing. Do I have a licence or common law tenancy?  

You will have a licence or a common law tenancy in temporary accommodation if:  

  • the council is your landlord and are assessing your homelessness application, or have decided that you are owed a ‘relief duty’  
  • your landlord is a housing association  and it has been less than 12 months since the council notified you of their homelessness decision 
  • your accommodation is not classed as Bed and Breakfast, you have a private landlord and it has been less than 12 months since the council notified you of their homelessness decision
  • you have been placed in privately owned and managed Bed and Breakfast by the councils homelessness team.

You should check your agreement to see if it is a licence agreement or a common law tenancy. If your landlord or support provider might need to move you to other accommodation (e.g. within the same building) you probably have a licence. If your agreement gives you the right to exclude others from entering your accommodation, then you could have a common law tenancy.   

What information should my landlord give me? 

When you move in to temporary accommodation, you will probably be given a written licence or tenancy agreement. You should check the agreement so that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities. There may be rules about visitors or a curfew. If you are unsure about the terms of your agreement get help.

Can I be evicted? 

Yes. Your landlord could evict you if you breach your agreement or if the council make a decision to end their homelessness duty to you.

If you are being asked to leave your temporary accommodation, it does not necessarily mean that the council will not have to help you in other ways. It will depend upon whether the council has other duties to you following your homeless application. 

For more information, see our advice about eviction of licensees and common law tenants from temporary accommodation.

Get help immediately if you are threatened with eviction for any reason. It may be difficult to find anywhere else to live if you don’t take action quickly. 

What are the rules on rent and rent increases? 

If you have a licence or common law tenancy your landlord can increase the rent at any time. However, if your licence or tenancy is for a fixed term your landlord cannot increase the rent during the fixed term.   

Paying 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. It is a good idea to talk to your support provider if you have any concerns about paying rent. 

Can my landlord change the agreement? 

If you have a periodic licence or tenancy (this means that it rolls from one rental period to the next) then your landlord may be able to change the terms of your agreement. They should inform you of any changes they are making.  

If your agreement is for a fixed term, then the terms of the agreement can only be changed if you agree to it. 

Who is responsible for repairs? 

Your landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is 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. 

If your home needs repairs, report the problem to your landlord straight away. They should have a 24-hour service for emergencies and proper procedures for carrying out any work involved.  

Find out more about who is responsible for repairs and what you can do if your home needs repairs here. 

When will I get longer-term accommodation? 

If the council has accepted a ‘relief duty’, they should take reasonable steps to help you find longer-term accommodation. If, after 56 days, you have not found longer-term accommodation, the council will make a decision about whether they have a duty to secure accommodation for you.  

If they do not have a duty to secure accommodation, they may not have to give you any further help. You can ask for a review of their decision. If you are in this situation, get help. 

However, if the council decides that they do have a duty to secure accommodation, there is no limit as to how long you can stay in the temporary accommodation so long as: 

  • it remains suitable for you 
  • you stick to any conditions that are included in your occupation contract 

For more information about how the council should help you, please see our advice about getting help from the council 

Can I take in lodgers or sublet the accommodation? 

While you are in temporary accommodation you do not have the right to take in a lodger or sublet part of your home, unless your landlord gives you permission. If you do so without permission, both you and the person you rent to can be evicted very easily. 

Can I add someone else on to the agreement?

You probably don’t have the right to add other people on to your renting agreement if you have a licence or common law tenancy in temporary accommodation. Check your agreement to make sure. Even if your landlord agrees to it, always speak to the council’s homelessness team first because it might affect your homelessness application. Get help if you are in this situation.

Can someone else take over my agreement when I die? 

If you have a licence or common law tenancy, only someone who is also named on the agreement jointly will be able to continue with the agreement if you die. This is called ‘survivorship’. 

Can I get a transfer or exchange? 

Not while you are in temporary accommodation. You will have to wait until you get settled accommodation. Even then, it will only be possible to exchange your home  if you are given a secure contract with a community landlord.  

What if the temporary accommodation is unsuitable? 

If you don’t think your accommodation is suitable, you should tell the council. If the council doesn’t offer you anything else, get help. An adviser may be able to help you to convince the council that you should be offered something more suitable for your needs. Find out more about unsuitable temporary accommodation here. 

Where can I get help and support? 

If you’re having problems in temporary accommodation for any reason, get in touch with an adviser. Don’t wait until things get really bad. If you end up homeless again, it may be more difficult to get help from the council in future. 

Advisers may be able to offer: 

  • practical help (for example if you have mobility problems) 
  • mediation services to help sort out disagreements with others 
  • treatment and support to help you with drug or alcohol problems 
  • advice on how to deal with money problems such as rent arrears or other debts 
  • help with mental health problems or learning disabilities. 

For more details of how to get help and advice click here. 

How can I end my renting agreement? 

If you want to end your renting agreement 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.

What if I have a complaint? 

If you disagree with any decision the council has made on your homelessness application, it may be possible to challenge the decision and get it overturned. 

If you feel that the council isn’t treating you fairly or has failed to fulfil its other responsibilities, you can also complain using their official complaints procedure. If you’re not happy with the response you get, you can complain further to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. 

Temporary accommodation

Rights in temporary accommodation

  • Temporary accommodation is provided by the council if you make a homelessness application and are in ’priority need
  • Most households living in temporary accommodation have a licence or common law tenancy
  • In some circumstances you might have a standard contract in temporary housing, which gives you stronger rights

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. 

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless you can apply to your local council for help. The council may provide you with temporary accommodation. Temporary accommodation can sometimes be referred to as ‘emergency’ accommodation or ‘interim’ accommodation’.  

There are different kinds of temporary accommodation. It can be provided by community landlords and private landlords although the council has the responsibility for arranging it. 

If you are living in temporary accommodation and not sure whether you have a standard occupation contract, licence or common law tenancy, the information below should help you work out which kind of renting agreement you have. 

What kind of renting agreement do I have in temporary accommodation? 

You will have either a licence, common law tenancy or a standard occupation contract. When you are first provided with temporary accommodation you will probably be given a licence or a common law tenancy. 

When you have a licence or common law tenancy, you might become a standard contract-holder later on. This depends on what type of landlord and accommodation you have, and what decisions the council make about your homelessness application,  A standard occupation contract gives you stronger rights. 

Please use the information below to work out what kind of agreement you have. 

The first stage of temporary accommodation

In certain circumstances the council must provide temporary accommodation as soon as you make a homelessness application. Find out more about how the council decides whether to give you temporary accommodation here. At this stage, you will be given a licence or common law tenancy 

What happens next depends on whether your landlord is the council, a housing association or private landlord. 

If your landlord is the council

If your landlord is the council you will remain with a licence or common law tenancy until the council have to make a decision about whether they have a duty to secure housing. If the council accepts a duty to secure housing, then your agreement will become a standard occupation contract when the council notify you of their decision 

If the council make any other decision about your homelessness application, you will remain a licensee or common law tenant until you leave.  

If your landlord is a housing association or private landlord

If your landlord is a housing association or private landlord you will have a licence or common law tenancy until 12 months after the council has notified you of their initial homelessness decision. At this stage your agreement will become a standard occupation contract. 

If you are in B&B accommodation and you have a private landlord

If you are in Bed and Breakfast accommodation that is owned and managed by a private landlord, then you will have a licence. Your agreement will not become a standard occupation contract even if you live there for more than 12 months.

If you are challenging a decision in the county court

If you have asked for a review or are appealing the review decision in the county court, then your agreement will become a standard occupation contract 12 months after the final decision is made about the review or county court appeal. 

How can I be given a prohibited conduct standard contract?

Giving and extending a prohibited conduct standard contract

  • A prohibited conduct standard contract is a 12-month probationary contract granted by a court. 
  • It is easier for your landlord to evict you under a prohibited conduct contract. 
  • Community landlords can apply to court to give you a prohibited conduct standard contract if you have engaged in anti-social behaviour.  

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 what a community landlord has to do to give you prohibited conduct standard occupation contract with a community landlord. It covers how you must be informed and your right to ask for a review.  

It does not explain your rights and the responsibilities you and your landlord have under a prohibited conduct standard contract. For information about this, click here. 

Do I have a prohibited conduct standard contract? 

A prohibited conduct standard contract can be given to you if you breach a secure occupation contract by engaging in antisocial behaviour. Anti-social behaviour means using your home for criminal activity or behaving in a way that might cause nuisance or annoyance to people in or near your home. This includes people living with or near you and also landlord staff and contractors. It is a fundamental term of all occupation contracts that you must not engage in or threaten to engage in anti-social behaviour. 

What does my landlord have to do? 

To give you a prohibited conduct standard contract, your landlord must get a court order. If the court agrees to your landlord’s application to give you a prohibited conduct standard contract, you will receive a letter from the court confirming this. You should also receive a written contract 

Your landlord must give you written notice before they apply to the court. It should look something like this. The notice must include the reasons they are applying for an order.  

After giving notice, your landlord can begin court action immediately. The notice is only valid for 6 months so your landlord must begin court action within this time.  

Your landlord can also apply for a possession order to evict you at the same time. You should receive letters from the court explaining what actions you should take and informing you of a date for the hearing.  

How will the court decide? 

The court can only make an order allowing your landlord to change your contract to a prohibited conduct standard contract if:  

  • you, someone who lives with you, or a visitor, has behaved antisocially or used your home for criminal activity,
  • they would otherwise grant a possession order to your landlord, and
  • your landlord will offer you support to help stop the behaviour happening again. 

Applying to end the probation period early 

You can apply to the court for an order to end the probation period early if: 

  • at least 6 months has passed, and 
  • it is no longer necessary to have a prohibited conduct standard contract, or   
  • your landlord has not offered you any support to help stop the behaviour. 

Get help if you want to do this. 

When will I become a secure contract-holder again? 

If there are no problems during the probation period your contract will become a new secure contract when the period ends. You should receive a new written contract when the probation ends. Prohibited standard occupation contracts last for 12 months unless:  

  • your landlord decides to extend the probationary period for a further 6 months, or  
  • it ends earlier than 12 months because the landlord gave you a ‘no fault’ section 173 notice but did not apply to court within 2 months of the notice expiring 

If your landlord starts action to evict you get help.  

How can my landlord extend the probationary period? 

Your landlord can extend the probationary period for a further 6 months by giving you a notice, which must: 

  • be given to you at least 8 weeks before the end of the probationary period 
  • give you reasons why the landlord wants to extend the probationary period 
  • tell you that you have a right to request a review of your landlord’s decision.  

If you do not agree that your probationary period should be extended, you can ask the landlord to look at the decision again. This is called ‘asking for a review‘. You must ask for a review in writing within 14 days of receiving the notice. For more information on what happens in a review see our page on challenging community landlord decisions.