The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 – Occupation Contracts

Published March 24 2022
3 minute read
Under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, tenants will become 'contract-holders' and tenancy agreements will be replaced with 'occupation contracts'.

For contract-holders this will mean:

•    receiving a written contract setting out your rights and responsibilities
•    an increase in the ‘no fault’ notice period from two to six months
•    greater protection from eviction
•    improved succession rights, these set out who has a right to continue to live in a dwelling, for example after the current tenant dies
•    more flexible arrangements for joint contract-holders, making it easier to add or remove others to an occupation contract

For landlords this will mean:

•    A simpler system, with two types of contract: ‘Secure’ for the social rented sector and ‘Standard’ for the private rented sector.
•    Ensuring homes are fit for human habitation (FFHH). This will include, electrical safety testing and ensuring working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted.
•    Abandoned properties can be repossessed without needing a court order.

The Act aims to simplify how we rent properties. There are two types of landlord under Act:  

•    community landlords (primarily local authorities and registered social landlords); and
•    private landlords (all other landlords).

Tenants are now called ‘contract-holders’ under the Act. Contract-holders will have an ‘occupation contract’ (which replaces tenancy agreements).

There are two types of occupation contract:
•    Secure contract: For use by community landlords.
•    Standard contract: This is the default contract for the private rented sector (PRS), but can be used by local authorities and RSLs in certain circumstances (e.g. a ‘Supported standard contract’ within supported accommodation).

There are four types of terms that can feature in occupation contracts:

•    Key matters: The names of the parties and address of the property. These must be inserted in every contract.
•    Fundamental Terms: Cover the most important aspects of the contract, including the possession procedures and the landlord’s obligations regarding repair.
•    Supplementary Terms: Deal with the more practical, day to day matters applying to the occupation contract, for example, the requirement for a contract-holder to notify the landlord if the property is going to be empty for four weeks or more.
•    Additional Terms: Addresses any other specifically agreed matters, for example a term which relates to the keeping of pets. Any additional terms must be fair, as required by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

You will be required to issue a ‘written statement’ of the occupation contract to all contract-holders (this will replace your current tenancy agreement). The written statement must contain all the terms of the contract.

Existing tenancy agreements will ‘convert’ to the relevant occupation contract on the day of implementation, and landlords have a maximum of six months to issue a written statement of the converted occupation contract to their contract-holders. 

More information is available at https://business.senedd.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=38596 but if you have any questions regarding what this means for you and how Peter Alan can help you please don’t hesitate to contact me directly by email on angela@peteralan.co.uk

Rents have also risen more in Wales than anywhere else in the UK in the last 12 months and if you’re looking for an up to date valuation of your rental property either visit www.peteralan.co.uk/#valuation for an instant online valuation of your property or visit https://www.peteralan.co.uk/pages/request_valuation to request a valuation and we’ll arrange to meet you and discuss how we can help.





Angela Davey
Head of Lettings at Peter Alan
Propertymark ARLA Past President