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New Legislation for Residential Landlords in Wales

February 2022

Last month the Welsh Government announced the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (‘the Act’) (which was passed six years ago) will come into force on 15th July 2022.

This Act will fundamentally change the current system for letting residential property in Wales. The Act aims to simplify the private rented sector in Wales by replacing various different sections of existing legislation with one overarching Act. The intention is that this should make negotiating and producing tenancy agreements easier, simpler and fairer.

Whilst the Act provides for both community landlords (primarily local authorities and registered social landlords) and private landlords (all other landlords) this information is provided to assist private landlords and their letting agents in understanding how the legislation will affect them.

The headings below define the key provisions and changes being introduced by the Act:

1) Occupation Contracts (new forms of tenancy agreement)

    a. General overview

    b. Terms of the occupation contract

    c. Joint contract-holders and succession

    d. Termination

2) New Tenancy Deposit Scheme

3) Landlord’s repair obligations and fitness for human habitation

   a. Landlord’s repair obligations

   b. Fitness for human habitation

   c. Limits on landlord’s obligations

This is a high-level summary. More detailed guidance and templates will follow over the coming months. We anticipate the Welsh Government will make further changes to the Act, with further supplementary legislation being made. This information will be updated as necessary.

Landlords and letting agents with properties in Wales need to familiarise themselves with the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 and all supplementary legislation so they are aware of the changes and prepare accordingly. The Welsh Government has created a useful page on its website with a list and links to all relevant legislation which can be found at Renting Homes Act and Regulations.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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