Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016

On the 1 December 2022, the legislation surrounding renting changed drastically as the Welsh Government implemented the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. This is the biggest change to the Private Rental Sector in a generation.

We have and will be continuing to ensure that our fully managed properties and landlords are compliant with the changes this legislation brings, and we are also delighted to offer services to self-managing landlords (e.g. providing Written Statements).

We have summarised the main changes below:

Changes To Tenancy Types

Tenants are now known as ‘contract-holders’.

Most tenancies including assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs), have been replaced with a standard occupation contract (SOC).

For any tenancies that were on an AST prior to 1st December 2022, these automatically converted on this date, and a Written Statement of the contract terms was legally required to be sent out by 31st May 2023. If you are a self-managing landlord, and require more information on Written Statements, you can contact us at .

Terms Of Occupation Contracts

Standard terms have been introduced and must be included in every Occupation Contract. While additional and supplementary terms may be added or amended, all amendments must be clearly shown, and additional terms may not override the fundamental terms set by the legislation.

Landlords must issue contract-holders with a Written Statement within 14 days of moving in, clearly setting out the rights and responsibilities of the landlord and the contract-holder. Our Occupation Contract doubles up as a Written Statement, and are signed prior to or on the move in day.

Ending Occupation Contracts

The rules about how a landlord can end an occupation contract have changed. Some of the main changes include:

  • The notice period that a landlord will have to give a contract-holder under ‘no fault’ grounds (previously commonly known as Section 21) will need to be at least 6 months, rather than the 2 months it has historically been.
  • A landlord is unable to serve such a notice until 6 months after the contract starts.
  • A landlord is unable to give such a notice unless they have complied with certain obligations, including registration, licensing, deposit protection rules and health & safety provisions.
  • Landlord break clauses are only able to be incorporated into an Occupation Contract if the contract has a fixed term of 2 years or more. A landlord is unable to exercise a break clause within the first 18 months of occupation.

Repairs And Conditions Of Properties

All rented properties have to be fit for human habitation (FFHH). The fitness test will be based on the existing Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

In addition, landlords have to keep the structure and exterior of the property in repair and keep installations for the supply of water, gas or electricity, for sanitation, for space heating, and hot water in repair and proper working order. These obligations will be in all occupation contracts.

From 1st December 2022, all properties with gas or solid fuel systems are required by law to have a working carbon monoxide alarm.

From 1st December 2022, all properties are required to have a valid Electrical Certificate Report (ECR) and hard wired and interlinked smoke alarms. There is a grace period for converted tenancies to have this in place by 1st December 2023.

Joint Contracts

A joint contract holder is able to move out without the contract ending for the remaining joint contract holders.

New joint contract holders are able to be added without having to end the current contract.


There is a new procedure for landlords to obtain possession of a property that has been abandoned.

Succession Rights

It is easier for certain groups of people, including some carers, to take over a person’s occupation contract on their death (‘succession’).

Need more information?

If you are an existing Belvoir client then you will have received communication from us regarding the steps we have implemented and have continued to implement to ensure compliance throughout the transition.

If you do have any questions relating to the new legislation, then please feel free to email us at

Further information can also be found at

The Renting Homes Wales Act (2016) became law on 1st December 2022.


Contact the Swansea, Sketty & Mumbles Team

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