Renting in Wales is changing from December 1 – Here is what you need to know …
Listen to this article
The way people rent in Wales is changing from December 1 in what will be the biggest change to housing law for decades.
If you’re a tenant, the new rules should make it easier for you to rent and give you more protection.
In a blog post, Citizen Advice explains what you need to know:
You’ll receive a new contract from your landlord
Importantly, tenants will now be known as ‘contract holders’ and your tenancy will be called an ‘occupation contract’. Instead of having a tenancy agreement, you’ll have a ‘written statement’.
Most tenants and licensees will automatically change over to the relevant contract on the 1 December. Your landlord has to give you the written statement before 1 June 2023.
If you start renting a home on or after 1 December, your landlord has to give you the written statement within 14 days of you moving into your home. You might be able to claim money from your landlord if they don’t give you the written statement in time.
What about repairs and the condition of the home?
Your landlord will have to make sure your home is safe to live in and fit for human habitation. This includes things like electrical safety testing and making sure smoke alarms work— when these need to be checked depends on when you moved in.
Your landlord will also be responsible for fitting carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with gas appliances. They must continue to keep the structure and exterior of the property in repair and the water, gas or electricity in proper working order.
Check the new rules about eviction notices
If you move into your home on or after 1 December 2023 your landlord won’t be able to give you a ‘no fault’ eviction notice if they didn’t give you the written statement when they should have. Your landlord must give you at least 6 months’ notice to end the contract, and ‘no fault’ notices can’t be issued until 6 months after you move in.
From June 2023 if you lived in your home before 1 December 2022 and your landlord wants to give you a ‘no fault’ eviction notice, they must give you at least 6 months’ notice to end the contract.
You’ll also have more protection if your landlord tries to evict you because you asked for repairs. This is called protection against ‘retaliatory eviction’.
Adding or removing people from a joint contract
Contract holders can be added or removed from occupation contracts without the need to end one contract and start another. You’ll need your landlord’s permission to make any changes to who’s on the contract.
If you have a joint contract and you want to move out but the other person wants to stay, you’ll be able to ‘withdraw’ from your contract. This means you won’t have to end your contract. The other person can stay on their own or someone else can take your place. If you want someone to move in, you’ll be able to add them to your contract with your landlord’s permission — you won’t need to start a new one.
Find out more about the changes
You can find more detail about how renting is changing on the Welsh government website. If you have any issues with your contract or home, we can help. Take a look at our online advice or you can contact us in lots of different ways.
By Cara Lewis, Citizens Advice.