Once the Act is implemented, there will be lots of changes to tenancy laws in Wales, including :
Changes to tenancy contracts
Terms of occupation contracts
- Standard terms will be introduced which must be included in every occupation contract.
- Landlords must issue contract holders with a written statement, clearly setting out the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and the contract holder.
Ending occupation contracts
- The minimum notice period that a landlord has to give a contract holder under ‘no fault’ grounds (currently commonly known as a ‘section 21 notice‘) will be extended from 2 months to 6 months.
- A landlord will not be able to give such a notice until 6 months after the contract starts.
- A landlord will not be able to give such a notice unless they have complied with certain obligations, including registration, licensing and deposit protection rules.
- Landlord break clauses will only be able to be incorporated into an occupation contract if the contract has a fixed term of 2 years or more. A landlord will not be able to exercise a break clause within the first 18 months of occupation.
Repairs and conditions of rented properties
- All rented properties must be fit for human habitation at the start of the contract and throughout the time the contract is operational. The fitness test is likely to be based on the existing Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
- Landlords must also keep the structure and exterior of the property in repair and keep installations for the supply of water, gas or electricity, for sanitation, for space heating, and hot water in repair and proper working order.
- Landlords will not be able to evict a contract holder just because they have complained about the condition of the property (commonly known as a ‘retaliatory eviction’). If a landlord applies to court for a possession order but it is refused on the grounds that it was a retaliatory eviction, the landlord cannot give a further ‘no fault’ notice until 6 months later.
- A joint contract holder will be able to leave a contract without ending it in its entirety.
- New joint contract holders can be added without having to end the current contract.
- It will be easier for certain groups of people, including some carers, to take over a person’s occupation contract on their death (‘succession’).
- There will be a new procedure for landlords to obtain possession of a property that has been abandoned.