On 15th July 2022, regulatory changes are coming into effect which will impact the way you rent your properties to tenants. There are six main changes being brought in to simplify the way properties are let and will affect both landlords and letting agents alike. This is an overview of the changes but if you wish to read the act in more detail, please visit: https://gov.wales/landlords-housing-law-changing-renting-homes 

This two part blog will detail what the changes are and how they will impact you and your property as a landlord.

  1. Tenancy Agreements

Under the Act, the term ‘tenants’ will be replaced with the term ‘Contract holders’ and they will hold an ‘Occupation contract’. There will then be two types of occupation contract, a ‘Standard Contract’ for the private rented sector and ‘Secure Contract’ for the social rented sector. 

The contract will also contain 4 key elements:

  • Key Matters - such as names of parties and the property it relates to
  • Fundamental Terms - includes the most important elements such as landlord obligations and possession procedures
  • Supplementary Terms - this will cover practical arrangements between the contract holder and landlord
  • Additional Terms - anything additional to a standard contract such as allowing a pet

Existing tenancy agreements will convert into the new format within a maximum of 6 months after the new regulations come into place. This can be in hard copy, or if the contract holder agrees, an electronic copy. Any new contracts created after this date will need to be issued within 14 days of occupation under the contract.

With regards to joint contracts, a joint contract-holder will be able to leave a contract without ending the contract entirely. New joint contract-holders can be added without having to end the current contract and start another one.

2. Increased Security 

There will be an increase in the amount of time in which a landlord can serve a contract holder to end an occupation contract in some circumstances. Whereby the contract holder has breached the contract,such as through rent arrears, then one months notice can be given to vacate the property. This notice period can be shorter where it relates to a breach of the anti-social behaviour or the serious rent arrears terms.

Where a ‘no fault’ notice is issued, the minimum notice period that must be given is 6 months.

A landlord will not be able to give such a notice until 6 months after the contract starts.

A landlord will not be able to give such a notice unless they have complied with certain obligations, including registration and licensing with Rent Smart Wales and deposit protection rules.

Landlord break clauses will only be able to be incorporated into a fixed term occupation contract if the contract has a fixed term of 2 years or more. A landlord will not be able to exercise a break clause within the first 18 months of occupation.

Please continue to read part 2 for the next sections of the Act that are changing