Our Tenants - Contract-holder

Page updated on: 05/09/2023

What is the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016?
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 is a new law introduced by the Welsh Government that came into effect on the 1st of December 2022. 
These changes have been planned by Welsh Government for some time and have been scrutinised and supported by tenant organisations such as TPAS Cymru and Shelter Cymru.
What are the main changes?
  • ‘Tenancies’ will now be known as ‘occupation contracts’
  • Social Landlords will now be known as ‘Community Landlords’
  • All permission requests from tenants must be made in writing and responded to within 1 month
  • A joint contract-holder will be able to resign or withdraw from the contract without the contract ending for the remaining joint contract-holders
    • New joint contract-holders can be added without having to end the current contract
  • Landlords can now recover possession of abandoned properties without applying to court

 

Under the new law occupation contracts will replace existing tenancies. An occupation contract is between Carmarthenshire County Council as the landlord and you, the contract-holder.

On 1 December 2022, all existing tenancy agreements will automatically convert to an occupation contract. You do not need to do anything for this to happen.

For converted contracts we have up to six months from 1 December 2022 to provide you with a written statement of the contract. We can issue your written statement in hardcopy or by e-mail depending on what you, the contract-holder prefer.

Many of your existing tenancy terms will remain the same but others will replace by terms in the Act.
You will be given an opportunity to sign to say you have received your contract.
For new occupation contracts which begin on or after 1 December 2022 you will be issued with a written statement within 14 days of the occupation date under the contract.

The written statement sets out the terms of your contract. This replaces your tenancy agreement.

The contract should explain what you can and cannot do, and what Carmarthenshire County Council, as your landlord, can and cannot do.

This contract should include:

  • Names of who is renting and address of the rented property
  • Rights and responsibilities. For example, it is the responsibility of the landlord to fix things in the home.
  • Day to day issues. For example, telling the landlord if no one is going to be in the home for 4 weeks or more.
  • Other information. For example, things like if you are allowed to keep pets or not.

The aim of the Fitness for Human Habitation regulations is one of prevention, to help ensure dwellings are maintained and to make sure your home is fit to live in.

For example, we must:

  • Fit a smoke alarm
  • Fit a carbon monoxide alarm
  • Make sure the electricity is safe

If you believe that your home is unfit, you should raise any concerns with us.

Contract-holders can be added or removed from an occupation contract without the need to end one contract and start another.

You can ask Carmarthenshire County Council, as your landlord, to add someone to your contract who you want to live with. You do not have to start a new contract to do this.

Succession simply means that when you die you can pass your home onto another family member or carer that live there with you currently. Your home can now be passed on a maximum of two times – first to a priority successor (for example, your spouse/partner) and then a reserve successor (for example, your adult child or a carer).

From 1 December 2022 the notice period for a rent increase has doubled from one month to two months and there can only be one increase per year.

Landlords can now repossess an abandoned property without needing a court order, after serving a four-week warning notice and carrying out investigations to be sure the property is abandoned.

Prohibited Conduct is the term used in the Act to define anti-social and other undesirable behaviour. It is considered a breach of contract and covers all behaviours which might impact on other people.

This means that any person living at or visiting your home must not engage in anti-social behaviour. Including excessive noise, verbal abuse and physical assault. Prohibited conduct may also include domestic abuse (including physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse).

All rented properties in Wales will have to be fit to live in. When you report a repair, we must respond by confirming whether there is a repair, who is responsible, (some repairs are contract-holder's responsibility), and when the repair will be done.

The repair must be carried out within a reasonable time after you have reported it to us. We must also make good any damage caused by works and repairs we carry out.

You will be notified in writing of appointments, inspections and works to be done.

These are new under the Act and take the place of what used to be known as mutual exchanges. You have the right to transfer your secure occupation contract to another person who meets the criteria to qualify. The right is dependent on us, as your landlord, giving permission.

Transfers are permitted in 2 situations:

  • Transfer to a potential successor
  • Transfer to another secure contract-holder

If you want to learn more about the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, please visit the Welsh Government website:

https://gov.wales/renting-homes-frequently-asked-questions-tenants
https://gov.wales/housing-law-changing-renting-homes

 

Load More