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Renting Homes Wales Act FAQ

What is changing

From 1st of December 2022, The Renting Homes (Wales) Act will change how you rent your home. This new law affects all landlords and tenants in Wales.
 

Under this law, new and existing tenants will become ‘contract-holders’ and tenancy agreements will be replaced with ‘occupation contracts'.
 

If you are an existing FCHA tenant, we must issue you with a copy of your occupation contract after 1st of December 2022. It will improve how we rent, manage and maintain  rented homes in Wales and provide greater security for tenants.

This FAQ section should provide you with all of the information you need before December 1st.
You will have received all of this information in the post , via newsletters, social media and tenant events  throughout 2022 in preparation for the change. 
 

Types of contract

There are two main types of occupation contract that can be issued in a variety of formats including electronic or a paper copy:

1.     A secure contract replaces secure tenancies issued by local authorities and assured tenancies issued           by Registered Social Landlords (RSLs)

2.     A standard contract is the default contract for the private rented sector, but can be used by local                 authorities and RSLs in certain circumstances e.g. a ‘supported standard contract’ for supported                   accommodation.

Your occupation contract

Your occupation contract with us will have to be set out in a ‘written statement’. The purpose of the written statement is to confirm the terms of the contract. This written statement must contain all required contractual terms. These are:

  1. Key matters: For example, the names of the parties and address of the property. These must be inserted in every contract.

  2. Fundamental terms: These cover the most important aspects of the contract, including the possession procedures and the landlord’s obligations regarding repair.

  3. Supplementary terms: These deal with the more practical, day to day matters applying to the occupation contract, for example, the requirement to notify the landlord if the property is going to be unoccupied for four weeks or more.

  4. Additional terms: This addresses any other specifically agreed matters, for example a term which relates to the keeping of pets.

If you would like to know more about how the new law will affect you, please visit Welsh Government for more information.

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Frequently
Asked

Questions

What is the Renting Homes (Wales) Act? 
  • In 2016, Welsh Government passed the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 with the aim of making it simpler and easier for landlords and tenants to rent a home in Wales.

  • The Act is the biggest change to housing law in Wales for decades and has been planned by Welsh Government for a while.

  • It introduces many changes to tenancy laws and will apply to both social landlords (like FCHA) and the private rented sector.

  • The changes brought by the Act have been scrutinised by tenant organisations such as TPAS Cymru and Shelter Cymru.

When will it happen?  
  • The Act will apply from 1st of December 2022. 
     

What’s the purpose of the Act? 
  • It simplifies agreements and brings consistency in contracts and security for people who rent their homes in Wales.

  • It improves the standard of some rented homes in Wales.
     

Who does it affect? 
  • All landlords: private and social 

  • All tenants: private and social 
     

Why is it happening? 
  • To make it easier and more consistent when you rent a home in Wales.

  • To make sure everyone who rents in Wales has a home that is fit for people to live in.

  • To improve consistency of standards, whether you live in a home rented from a social landlord like FCHA, from a Council or a home rented from a private landlord.

  • To give people living in private rented homes better security.
     

What is changing? 
  • Under the new law a ‘Tenancy Agreement’ will be known as an ‘Occupation Contract’ and a ‘Tenant’ will be known as a ‘Contract Holder’. 

  • All properties must be safe and have features such as hard-wired smoke alarms and regular electrical safety testing. 

  • There are some new rules for dealing with anti-social behaviour.

  • There are increased succession rights which is the right to pass on your home to other people when you die. In certain circumstances you could pass your home onto carers or other family members.

  • With your landlords consent, a Contract Holder can be added to or removed from an Agreement without the need to end the contract. 

  • Landlords will be able to repossess abandoned properties without a court order. 
     

What does it mean for me as a tenant?  
  • It simplifies and improves your rights as a tenant. 

  • It improves how some landlords manage rented homes in Wales.

  • Existing FCHA tenants will receive an Occupation Contract within 6 months of 1st December 2022, replacing your Tenancy Agreement. 
     

Is it going to cost me money or have an effect on my rent? 
  • No, this has no effect on your rent and it won’t cost you any money.
     

What do I need to do?
  • Once you get your contract please read it and familiarise yourself with it. Your contract will explain what you can and can’t do as a tenant, and what FCHA can and can’t do as a landlord. 

 
Where can I find out more? 

Visit: https://gov.wales/housing-law-changing-renting-homes

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