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What are changes to letting property in Wales?

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On 1 December 2022, implementation of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 changed the way all landlords in Wales rent their properties.

Seen by some as the biggest reform of legislation in decades, the changes aim to improve how landlords let and manage their properties and how tenants live in rented homes in Wales.

Contracts between tenants and social and private landlords have been revised, and changes have also been made to ensure properties are safe to live in and free from hazards.

Occupation contracts

There will be two types of contracts - ‘Secure’ for the social rented sector and ‘Standard’ for the private rented sector (PRS).

Tenants will now be referred to as ‘contract-holders’ and tenancy agreements have been replaced with occupation contracts.

Existing rental agreements extending beyond 1st December 2022 will automatically transfer to an occupation contract and the landlord must issue a new contract before 1 June 2023.

Occupation contracts which are set out in a written statement will cover four main terms:

  • Key matters – The address of the property and names of the contract holders
  • Fundamental Terms – The most important points of the contract are covered in this term, such as possession procedures and responsibilities of the landlord in repairing the property
  • Supplementary Terms – This term will cover more practical points, for example, if the tenants plan to leave the property for four weeks or more they will need to notify their landlord
  • Additional Terms – The points covered here are personal to the landlord and contract holder and these can differ from contract to contract. Keeping pets is one example of an additional term. Any additional terms must adhere to the Consumer Rights Act 2015

For new rentals commencing after 1 December 2022, landlords must provide a written statement within 14 days of the occupation contract coming into effect, which sets out the terms listed above. For existing contract holders, landlords have a timeframe of six months to issue a written statement along with an occupation contract.

The Welsh government claim that replacing tenancy agreements with occupation contracts will make renting easier and provide greater security.

Fit for human habitation (FFHH)

The law has been amended to ensure the safety of contract holders and properties are of an acceptable standard.

Landlords must make any required improvements to their properties for homes to be classed as fit for human habitation (FFHH). This includes checking, and where necessary, upgrading the property’s fire and electrical safety standard and ensuring that appropriate alarms and detectors are installed. In addition, the structure and interior of the property are also required to meet FFHH status.

Rent will not be payable during the period when the property is not fit for human habitation.

Joint contracts

A contract holder can be added to or removed from the agreement without affecting the other party’s occupation contract.

Notice Periods

Tenants will receive two months’ notice from the landlord of any rent increase instead of one month.

Landlords are required to give six months’ notice to end an occupation contract.

For tenancies starting after 1 December 2022, the no fault eviction notice period will increase from two to six months, and it will not be possible to serve an eviction notice in the first 6 months of a new tenant living in a property.

Exceptions may apply where there are rent arrears.

Improved succession rights

The improved succession rights allow a ‘priority’ and ‘reserve’ successor (spouse / other family member) to take over the occupation contract.


In situations where a property has been abandoned, if the landlord has issued a four-week warning notice and carried out the appropriate investigations, the property can be repossessed without a court order.

For more information and guidance on the changes to the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, please visit

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