Converted standard contracts in temporary accommodation
- If you live in temporary accommodation you can usually be evicted quite easily
- In some circumstances you might have a converted standard occupation contract in temporary housing, which gives you stronger rights
If you moved into temporary accommodation on or after 1 December 2022 the information below does not apply to you. To find the correct information, please visit our Renting advice pages.
This page explains your rights if you live in temporary accommodation after making a homelessness application and have a converted standard contract.
It does not explain your rights and responsibilities if you are living in temporary accommodation under a licence or common law tenancy.
If you aren’t sure whether you have a converted 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 housing 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:
What are the terms of my converted standard contract?
The terms of the renting agreement you had before 1 December 2022 will continue and they are now part of your converted standard contract.
To help you work out what the terms of your converted standard contract are, you can follow these 3 rules:
- Fundamental terms are always valid
- The terms of your old agreement are valid except for those that are incompatible with fundamental terms
- Supplementary terms are valid except where they are incompatible with fundamental terms and the terms of your old agreement
Where terms are incompatible this should be noted in the contract.
Will I get a copy of the new contract?
Your landlord must provide you with a written contract by 1 June 2023.
If any supplementary term or terms in your old contract are not valid this should be identified and explained clearly in the contract. For more information see our advice page about written contracts.
If you haven’t already received them, 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 Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) dated within the last 10 years
If you are still living in the accommodation on 1 December 2023, you should also receive an electrical installation condition report dated within the last 5 years. This test should then be carried out every 5 years.
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 about eviction, see our advice here.
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 2 months’ notice on a RHW12 form. They can only increase your rent once a year.
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 I appeal against the rent increase?
If your tenancy was an assured shorthold tenancy with a housing association or private landlord before it converted on 1 December 2022, you may be able to appeal to the Rent Assessment Committee (RAC) if you think your rent has been increased unfairly. You must apply for an appeal before the date that your rent is due to increase.
Can my landlord change my converted standard contract?
The terms of your converted standard contract can only be changed if you and your landlord agree. No changes can be made until you have been given the written contract.
Once you receive the contract your landlord can make changes to:
- some fundamental terms (but only if you agree)
- any supplementary and additional terms (only if you agree)
If changes are agreed, 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 fundamental or supplementary term. If your landlord fails to provide you with either of these, get help.
Who is responsible for repairs and conditions?
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, 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.
Your landlord must also ensure that you home is fit to live in. If conditions in your home are very poor, if there is serious damp and mould for example, your home may be classed as unfit to live in.
For your home to be fit to live in, you must also have been given a carbon monoxide detector where appropriate.
Your landlord must also install mains-connected smoke alarms on each floor of your home and carry out an electrical installation condition report (EICR) by 1 December 2023.
You can 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.
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 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 why you don’t think it is suitable. 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.