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What is the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016?

In 2016 the Welsh Government passed The Renting Homes (Wales) Act that will replace current housing legislation.


The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 is the biggest change to housing law in Wales for decades and from 1 December 2022 will change the way all landlords in Wales rent their properties. It will improve how we rent, manage, and live in rented homes in Wales, whether in the social or private sector.


Who is affected by the new law?

All social and private tenants 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

All social and private landlords, including those who rent their properties through management companies or agents, will need to:

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



What does the new law mean for me?


Under the new law, tenants and licencees will become ‘contract-holders’. Tenancy agreements will be replaced with ‘occupation contracts’.

The new law will make renting easier and provide greater security.

For contract-holders this will mean:

  • receiving a written contract setting out your rights and responsibilities within six months of the 1 December replacing your Tenancy Agreement.
  • new tenants after the 1 December will sign the new contract in the usual way and will receive a copy within 14 days.
  • an increase in the ‘no fault’ notice period from two to six months
  • greater protection from eviction
  • improved succession rights, these set out who has a right to continue to live in a dwelling, for example after the current tenant dies. This means you now have the reassurance of added security for your loved ones. Both ‘priority’ and ‘reserve’ successors are now able to take over the ‘Occupation Contract’, subject to meeting the
    requirements of the Act.
  • more flexible arrangements for joint contract-holders, making it easier to add or remove others to an occupation contract


For landlords this will mean:

  • A simpler system, with two types of contract: ‘Secure’ for the social rented sector and ‘Standard’ for the private rented sector.
  • Ensuring homes are fit for human habitation (FFHH). This will include, electrical safety testing and ensuring working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are fitted.
  • Abandoned properties can be repossesed without needing a court order.



Got a question about The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016? Check out our list of Frequently Asked Questions here.


What should I do next?

We want this transition to be as smooth as possible for everyone. Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant it is important you know what the changes mean for you and we will be contacting you ahead of the transition.

Find out more now about the new law at the Welsh Government Website.