Landlords Beware: The Rules they are a-changin’

On December 1st private landlords in Wales will be coming to terms with more changes to the industry as even more new legislation comes into force.

Keeping up and complying with all the legislation changes over the past few years has become a nightmare for those landlords with private housing that is so important due to public housing stock being so reduced.

Property prices in Wales are at an 18-year high, mortgage interest rates are fast approaching those of a decade ago, the need for private rental property is likely to become even greater, and now The Rented Homes (Wales) Act 2016 is coming into force on December 1st.

Under this latest legislation, Tenancies will now be known as “Occupation Contracts”, Tenants will become Contract Holders, and private landlords will be given a period of six months from when the new Act comes into force to provide Contract Holders with the new written statement.

The Act itself contains precedents of the written statements. If a new contract is entered into, the written statement must be provided within 14 days. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in sanctions being imposed on the Landlord.

There will also be new notice requirements if a private landlord wishes to evict a tenant. For breach of contract, for example non-payment of rent, landlords will need to give one months’ notice. If they wish to serve a no-fault notice, then they must provide six months’ notice. However, if a landlord has already commenced possession proceedings or served a notice prior to the Act coming into force, then they will still be able to rely on this notice.

rentsmart.gov.wales is offering a training course for landlords, managing agents and staff, to help them understand and comply with the Act. In total the course is made up of seven modules, covering: Introduction to the Act; Occupation Contracts; Succession, Joint Contracts and Consent; Property Conditions; Contract-holders Rights & Obligations; Conversion; Ending Contracts.

If you are a private Landlord, you might, however, find it easier to seek advice from a Solicitor to ensure you comply with the requirements of the new Act. But whatever you decide, you will do well to heed the warning that there will be no “bedding in” period for The Act – it will come in and affect the vast majority of existing and future tenancies in Wales from 1st December 2022.

Robert Williams

Robert Williams

Partner and Complaints Handler

Partner and Head of the Civil Litigation, Personal Injury and Dispute Resolution team in Wrexham