Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016

From this date, new tenancies in the private rental sector will be governed by an “occupation contract”; a new standard tenancy agreement provided by the Welsh Government.
For existing tenancies, a transition over to a new occupation contract must take place prior to 14th January 2023.
One of the main specified terms in the new occupation contracts relates to how tenancies are ended. Where a Landlord wishes to end the contract, both Section 21 and Section 8 notices will no longer be available. Instead, they will be replaced by new notices with different rules about when they can be served.
For example, the replacement for Section 21 will require a minimum of six months’ notice and cannot be served in the first six months of the occupation contract. This in effect means that repossession of a property may not be possible for at least 12 months when applying to a new tenancy. Tenants on a non-fixed (rolling) contract will still only be required to give one month’s notice to leave.
The Welsh Government has made assurances that the new Section 8 Notice (for use with rent arrears, anti-social behaviour, and other tenancy breaches) will be “beefed up” to help gain repossession of a property when due to these factors.
The new legislation also introduces several new safety responsibilities for Landlords in Wales under the banner of new “Fitness for Human Habitation” requirements.
Once the legislation comes into force, a property will be unfit for human habitation unless the Landlord ensures that:
-          - Mains-wired interlinked smoke alarms are fitted on every floor of the property
-          - Carbon Monoxide alarms are fitted in every room with a gas, oil or solid fuel burning appliance

For tenancies that turn into occupation contracts, Landlords have a year to comply with smoke alarm requirements, giving them until 15th July 2023 to comply.
However, Carbon Monoxide alarms must be fitted from 15th  July 2022.
Landlords will also be unable to serve a notice seeking possession unless they have served the following at the start of a tenancy:
-          - An energy performance certificate (EPC Report)
-          - A gas safety certificate
-          - A satisfactory electrical installation condition report


In addition to this, if there are insufficient smoke and CO alarms in the property then a notice may not be served.
Where the courts consider that a notice has been served to avoid fulfilling the Landlords’ obligations to repair or to maintain the property in a state that is fit for human habitation; this may also prevent possession from being granted.
We are aware that this information may seem overwhelming – please be assured that we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact our office and if you would like to discuss these changes in more detail.
Templates of the new occupation contracts can be downloaded or viewed from the Welsh Government website by following this link:
Further information about the Renting Homes Wales Act can also be found here:
As always, thank you very much for your continued support and we look forward to speaking to you soon.