As you may be aware, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will come into force from the 15th July 2022, and it will introduce a number of changes to the way properties in Wales are let. The most noticeable change will see the introduction of new standard Occupation Contracts which will replace the current Tenancy Agreements that we are all familiar with. Please note that all Landlords and Agents with properties in Wales will be affected by these changes.
As part of my role as Head of Residential Lettings, I will make it a priority of mine to make sure all of my landlords are kept abreast of the changes and how they will affect you.
There is going to be a lot of guidance being issued over the next few months - but in the interim, here are some of the main changes to be aware of:
Occupation Contracts - all tenancy agreements will automatically convert to Occupation Contracts and tenants will become ‘contract holders’ on the 15th July this year. Any new or renewal agreements created from 15th July will be Occupation Contracts and will need to adhere to the new Welsh Government’s prescribed format.
Written Statement - there will be six months from the implementation date of the act to issue a new ‘written statement’ of occupation to all existing tenants/ contract holders.
Contract Termination – Landlords will be required to serve six month’s notice where there is no breach by the contract holder, and this cannot be served within the first six months of any given contract. Break clauses are only going to be permitted in agreements of 2 years or more and can’t be exercised by the landlord within the first 18 months of the contract.
Fitness for Human Habitation (FFHH) – it will be mandatory for all rental properties to have a satisfactory electrical safety certificate (EICR), a mains wired interlinked smoke alarm system and a carbon monoxide alarm in every room with a gas, oil or solid fuel burning appliance, including gas boilers. EICR and Smoke Alarm regulations will only apply to new agreements created from 15th July 2022 initially and allows up to 12 months to bring properties with existing agreements in place up to standard. However, there doesn’t currently appear to be any transitional provision for the requirement for Carbon Monoxide alarms which suggests they will be required in all properties from 15th July 2022.
There is a lot to take in as this Act represents the biggest change to housing law that Wales has seen for decades so if you have any questions, or wish to arrange a meeting to have a face to face discussion about your rental property, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly by email on email@example.com
Martine Harris ~ Head of Residential Lettings ~ 01446 771777