What’s changing about the Renting Homes Act?
Read about the Act and the key points to be aware of
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act that will replace current housing legislation. Its purpose is to set up a single legal framework for social and private renting, enabling a ‘single social tenancy’ for Wales.
The Act will come into force on the 1st December 2022 and bring significant reform to housing law and practice in Wales.
The Act gives greater clarity on the rights and responsibilities for both our customers and for us as your landlord, through written contracts. This is currently known as a tenancy agreement. In addition, the Act will standardise tenancy agreements.
Welsh Government have produced an easy-to-read guide on what Renting Homes (Wales) means for residents.
If you became a tenant prior to 1st December 2022, you will automatically be converted to a new Occupation contract.
You will receive your new Occupation Contract anytime between 1st December 2022 and 1st June 2023.
For new tenants (known as Contract holders) on or after 1st December 2022, you will receive a written contract within 14 days of your occupation date.
Contracts will be provided electronically if you have given us permission to issue your contract in this way. If you haven’t given us permission, but would like to receive your contract electronically, please get in contact with us. Otherwise we will be sending you a paper copy.
We recommend existing residents sign the contract, however you don’t have to.
You don’t have to sign your new Occupation Contract. However, we do encourage you to sign it. Please keep your copy in a safe place, so you know where to find it.
Under the new law ‘Occupation Contracts’ will replace existing tenancies.
There are two main types of Occupation Contract, standard and secure.
Standard contracts will replace assured shorthold tenancies which are currently used mainly in the private rented sector, and secure contracts will replace the secure and assured tenancies used mainly in the social rented sector.
On 1st December 2022, all existing Tenancy Agreements will automatically convert to an occupation contract, we have a six-month period from this date to issue you will your new Occupation Contract.
A priority successor is usually a spouse or civil partner.
Reserve successors can be a family member/carer (living at the property for 12 months prior to the contract-holder’s death).
Both Priority and Reserve successors must have no other home to occupy at the time of death and must be 18+ years old to hold the contract when they succeed.
If there is more than one person eligible to succeed, a Priority successor will have priority over a Reserve successor.
No, the Act will not affect your rent but it does mean that Melin will have to give you two-months’ notice for any rent increase.
If a contract-holder stops paying rent, Melin Homes can serve a possession notice on the basis you have breached your contract (which has a one-month notice period).
The notice period is four weeks, this starts the days after the day on which you give us notice.
The Act will make it easier to add or remove someone from a joint contract, without the need for the contract to end for everyone.
All contract-holders will be given a written statement of the occupation contract.
Fitness for Human Habitation (FFHH) means that all landlords must ensure their properties are fit for people to live in them. They must ensure they are safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm.
The Welsh Government have issued more detail around the 29 matters and circumstance for FFHH which you can find by visiting their website.
A contract-holder will not be liable to pay rent for any period during which the property is deemed to be unfit, and a landlord will not be able to issue a Landlord’s Notice, or break clause if they are not in compliance with the Fitness requirements.
If a contract-holder believes that a property is unfit, but we do not agree it would ultimately be for the court to decide whether a property is unfit based on the standards set out in the Regulations.
A court claim would be made the same way as you would currently make a disrepair claim.
Under the Act we must ensure you are provided with a valid:
These requirements will apply to all new contracts which begin on or after 1st December 2022. For existing tenancies which will convert to occupation contracts on 1st December 2022.
We have a period of 12 months from 1st December 2022 to undertake the EICR to avoid the property becoming unfit for human habitation.
We must ensure that, during each period of occupation, on each storey of the property there is a smoke alarm which is:
From the 1st December we must ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is fitted and working properly in each room which contains a gas appliance, an oil fired combustion appliance or a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.
If you have any concerns, please get in touch with us. All the ways you can contact us can be found there.