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Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016

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Ground-breaking legislation to improve the lives of the one million people in Wales who rent their home, has today been granted Royal Assent by Her Majesty the Queen.
A summary of the research commissioned by Welsh Government on the behaviour and knowledge of tenants and landlords.
A brief outline on the new arrangements for renting homes and how you can contact us in relation to this.
Illustrative examples of a Periodic Standard Contract and Secure Contract prepared by the Law Commission.
Examples of the difficulties people encounter as a result of the complexity of current housing law.
On 5 May 2006 the Law Commission published, "Renting Homes: The Final Report".
A summary of the research conducted by Consumer Focus Wales into what tenancy reform could mean for the private rented sector.
Read the report by the Law Commission on Renting Homes in Wales
Making it easier to rent your home in Wales.

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act (external link) will make it simpler and easier to rent a home, replacing various and complex pieces of existing legislation with one clear legal framework.

At the heart of the act are the new 'occupation contracts'. With a limited number of exceptions, the act replaces all current tenancies and licences with just two types of occupation contract:

  • secure contract - modelled on the current secure tenancy issued by local authorities
  • standard contract - modelled on the current assured shorthold tenancy used mainly in the private rented sector.

Once implemented, the Act will require landlords to issue a written statement of the occupation contract which clearly sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and those renting from them. To help landlords comply with this requirement, the Welsh Government will provide free model contracts.

A minimum six-month occupation period will be maintained by the Act and landlords will have to ensure the property is fit for human habitation. The Act will also help protect people from being evicted simply for complaining about the condition of a property.

People who find themselves in difficult circumstances will also benefit from the Act. It will help to prevent current homelessness situations where a joint tenant leaves the tenancy, thereby ending the tenancy for everyone else. The new approach to joint contracts will also help victims of domestic abuse by enabling the person carrying out domestic abuse to be targeted for eviction.

Inequalities in how someone can succeed to a tenancy are also addressed, with a new succession right for carers created.

The Act will enable landlords to repossess an abandoned property without needing a court order, enabling the property to be re-let more quickly, which is in everyone’s interest.

This is one of the most significant pieces of legislation to be passed by the National Assembly for Wales and it will directly affect the lives of over one million people who rent their home in Wales. Currently a substantial programme of work is under way to implement the Act. The making of the required secondary legislation, such as that for determining fitness for human habitation, model contracts and the supplementary terms of occupation contracts, will involve public consultations.

There will, of course, also be publicity targeting landlords, letting agents and tenants in the months leading up to the coming into force date.

We would like to thank all organisations and individuals that assisted in the process of developing the Act, and look forward to continuing to engage with all stakeholders during implementation.