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Renting Home (Wales) Act 2016 - Questions and Answers

Overview

The rules about renting a home in Wales are changing.

The new Renting Homes law will make it simpler and easier to rent a home and offers greater security to tenants and landlords.

From 1 December 2022, the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 will change the way all landlords in Wales rent out their properties.

The new law will make it clearer about what you must and must not do while living in your home.

In this document, the landlord is Powys County Council.

We have produced this easy read document with any Frequently Asked Questions that you may have about these changes.

  1. Will I be affected by the new law?
  2. What changes are going to happen?
  3. What is an Occupation Contract?
  4. Will there be any other changes?
  5. Is it going to cost me money or affect my rent?
  6. What should I do next?

If you have any further questions, please ring the Housing One Number on 01597 827464 or email housing@powys.gov.uk

Will I be affected by the new law?

Yes, all social tenants (Council and Housing Associations) will see some changes:

  • in the way their contracts are provided
  • in the way their homes are maintained
  • to how they communicate with their landlords 

The landlord will need to:

  • comply with the new law
  • make the necessary updates to their properties and paperwork

 

What changes are going to happen?

  • Under the new law, you will be known as a Contract Holder (not a tenant).
  • You will be issued with an Occupation Contract (this used to be called a tenancy agreement).
  • The new law will make renting easier and provide greater security. 

 

What is an Occupation Contract?

An Occupation Contract used to be called a tenancy agreement.

Your Occupation Contract will be a Secure contract, which gives you greater security and certainty. However, if you are a homeless applicant in temporary accommodation, your occupation contract will be a standard contract. 

The landlord will give you your Occupation Contract. 

The Contract will explain what you can and can't do, and what the landlord can and can't do. 

The Contract will include: 

  • Names of who is renting and the address of the property being rented. 
  • Rights and responsibilities, for example, who is responsible for fixing things in your home. 
  • Day to day matters, for example, telling the landlord if no-one is going to be at home for 4 weeks or more. 
  • Other information, for example, if you are allowed to keep pets or not. 
  • The Contract could be printed out and posted to you or emailed to you, depending on what you prefer. 
  • You should sign the contract if you are happy with everything it says. 

 

Will there be any other changes?

Yes, there are some important changes such as:

Making the home fit to live in

This means that Powys County Council must make sure your home is fit to live in by:

  • Fitting smoke alarms
  • Fitting carbon monoxide detectors
  • Making sure your electricity is safe

If the Court decides that your home is not fit to live in, you do not have to pay rent during that time.

Notice to leave

Powys County Council must give you notice if we want you to leave. 

The notice is a written form that tells you what you should do, and by when. 

You cannot be asked to leave if you have complained that your home is in a poor state of repair. 

Joint Contract Holders

You can ask to add someone to your contract who you want to live with.

You don't have to start a new contract to do this.

Passing your home onto someone else

You can pass your home onto other people, to continue living in.   

Your home may now be passed on two times - dependent on circumstances. 

 

Is it going to cost me money or affect my rent?

No, this has no effect on your rent or cost you any money.  

 

What should I do next?

We want this transition to be as smooth as possible for everyone. As a tenant it is important you know what the changes mean for you.

  • Check the name/s on your letter to ensure they are correct for your new Occupation Contract. If they are wrong, please contact us on 01597 827464 or email housing@powys.gov.uk
  • Your tenancy agreement will change to an Occupation Contract on 1st December 2022.
  • Powys County Council have six months from 1st December 2022, to send you your new Occupation Contract.
  • Your Occupation Contract will be posted to you.
  • Once you have received your Occupation Contract you will need to read it and familiarise yourself with your rights and responsibilities.
  • All Contract Holders must complete and sign the "Contract Received" form, which will be enclosed with your Contract.
  • Your signed form must be returned back to Powys County Council in the pre-paid envelope provided within 14 days of receiving your Contract.
  • New tenants after the 1st of December 2022, will sign the new contract in the usual way and will receive a copy within 14 days.