Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016

In 2016 the Welsh Government passed The Renting Homes (Wales) Act with the aim of making it simpler and easier to rent a home in Wales.

The Act introduces lots of changes to tenancy laws and, once implemented, will apply to virtually all rented properties in Wales.

The provisions of the Act are not yet in force but it is anticipated that they will be brought in during 2020/2021.

What changes are going to happen?

Once the Act is implemented, there will be lots of changes to tenancy laws in Wales, including :

Changes to tenancy contracts

    • Many current tenancies and licences will be replaced with 2 kinds of ‘occupation contract’:
      (1) a ‘secure contract’
      (2) a ‘standard contract’.

      The type of occupation contract will depend on whether the property is owned by a private landlord or a council or housing association.

    • Landlords will be grouped into one of 2 groups:
      (1) community landlords (council and housing associations)
      (2) private landlords (any landlord in Wales who is not a community landlord).
    • There will be some variations of occupation contract for specific types of housing, such as supported housing.
    • Tenants will be known as ‘contract holders’

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

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.

Joint contracts

    • 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.

Succession rights

    • It will be easier for certain groups of people, including some carers, to take over a person’s occupation contract on their death (‘succession’).

Abandonment

    • There will be a new procedure for landlords to obtain possession of a property that has been abandoned.

When are these changes going to happen?

These changes have not yet happened but it is expected that they will be introduced in 2020/2021.

These pages will be updated as changes are brought in.

Will there be any other changes?

The Welsh Government are currently considering changing the law about how and when a landlord can evict a tenant under ‘section 21’ or ‘no fault’ grounds.

It is also likely that new laws will be introduced about the landlord’s responsibilities surrounding electrical safety and the provision of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Our advice pages and resources will be updated as changes are introduced.

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We are sorry that we cannot provide this information in Welsh, however if you would like to speak to an adviser in Welsh please contact 0345 075 5005.

This page was last updated on: October 9, 2019

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.