Renting Homes (Wales) Act (Agenda Edition 14)
Subjects for Tenant Groups to discuss with their landlord
Some tenant groups have asked us for topical agenda items/subject briefings for their tenant group to discuss with their landlord. TPAS Cymru have created a briefing series that we call ‘The Agenda’ which provides tenant groups with an overview of a subject and suggestions of questions you might want to ask in your engagement with your landlord. This briefing will focus on the new Act and how it’s going to affect tenants.
Main contents of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, is the biggest change to housing law in Wales, and will begin on 15th July 2022. The Act means there will be changes to tenancy laws in Wales to make it simpler and easier to rent a home.
Under the new law, tenants will become 'contract-holders' and Tenancy agreements will be replaced with 'occupation contracts'. An occupation contract is between the landlord who owns the house/flat and you, the contract holder who rents it.
There are two types of occupation contract:
secure contract: for homes that are rented from homes owned by Councils (Local Authorities) or Housing Associations (RSLs)
standard contract: for homes rented from private landlords (private rented sector – PRS) but can sometimes be used by councils and RSLs for some types of housing (e.g. supported accommodation).
Your landlord must give you an 'occupation contract', which will replace your tenancy or licence agreement: this will say what you, and the landlord, can and can’t do. The Occupation contract will include:
Key matters: For example, the names of the parties and address of the property. These must be inserted in every contract.
Fundamental Terms: Cover the most important aspects of the contract, rights and responsibilities e.g. the landlord’s responsibilities for repairs
Supplementary Terms: Deal with the more practical, day to day issues for example, the requirement to notify the landlord if the property is going to be empty for four weeks or more.
Additional Terms: Other information, for example whether you’re allowed to have pets.
Contracts can be given as a print-out copy or, if the contract-holder agrees, electronically. You should sign the contract if you’re happy with what it says.
Further information is available on the Welsh Government’s Renting Homes’ webpages (www.gov.wales/rentinghomes) or contact your landlord for more information.
Questions to ask your landlord:
1. Who is the main person ‘leading’ on the new Act within the organisation?
2. What are your plans to let tenants know about the new Act before July?
3. What training will staff be given on the new Act?
4. How will you support tenants with these new changes?
5. Will tenants/contract holders be asked to sign the new contracts? When is this likely to happen?
We hope you have enjoyed reading this edition of the Agenda. We would love to hear about any conversations you’ve had with your landlord regarding this topic, so please email [email protected] with any feedback or further questions