If you are a private landlord or tenant in Wales are you prepared for the key changes implemented from the 15th of July 2022?
From the 15th of July 2022, the Government are implementing changes to the Renting Homes Act (Wales) 2016 and the Renting Homes Act Amendment for Wales 2021.
These changes apply to privately rented properties and do not include social housing.
Following January 2022 tenants will be referred to as 'Contract Holders' and will have an 'Occupation Contract' rather than a tenancy agreement.
Landlords will have to issue tenants with a written statement of occupation including all key terms of the occupancy within 14 days of commencement.
The government have provided template written statements for landlords to utilise although this is not mandatory and landlords can use their written statements provided that all of the key terms and points are documented.
These are available on the government's legislation website The Renting Homes (Model Written Statements of Contract) (Wales) Regulations 2022 (legislation.gov.uk)
Other key factors to be made aware of include:
A contract holder has obligations to removing personal belongings at the end of the occupation.
The landlord has the right to enter the property in an emergency.
Tenants have a legal obligation to notify a landlord if repairs are required.
How does this affect existing tenancy agreements?
Existing tenancy agreements will convert to 'Occupation Contracts' and landlords will have a maximum of 6 months from the 15th of July 2022 to issue the contract holder with a written statement of the new 'Occupation Contract'. These can either be delivered electronically or by hard copy.
Looking at ending occupation contracts after the 15th of July 2022?
These are the key changes to the legislation you need to be made aware of:
To issue a 'no-fault- based' notice often known as a section 21 notice, landlords must provide contract holders with 6 months' notice as opposed to the previous 4 months that were required.
A section 21 notice cannot be issued during the first 6 months of the commencement of the occupation this has been increased from previously 4 months.
If a landlord intends to end a contract due to a breach of the terms of the contract then the notice period is one month (or less for anti-social behaviour issues or rent arrears).
We would strongly advise you to seek legal advice before serving any notice on contract holders.
'New Legislation to support improvements in the Standards of Rented Accommodation
As part of the new regulations from July 2022 landlords are to ensure that their property satisfies the 29 matters and circumstances to ensure that a property is 'Fit for human habitation'.
As part of the new legislation. Tenants are required to notify landlords of any disrepair.
The new legislation allows landlords to repossess an abandoned property without obtaining a court order. This is proved a 4-week notice has been served and the landlord is satisfied that the property has been abandoned, they can then take back possession without having to go through the courts and are allowed to change the locks.
It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive of the new changes that are being implemented and more information is available on Housing law is changing: Renting Homes Wales | GOV.WALES
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