The Welsh government has announced that four other amending regulations relating to the Renting Homes Act (“the Act”) have been laid, scheduled for a plenary debate on 12 July 2022.
Of particular note are some new announcements concerning the new rules from the postponed date of 1 December.
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (Amendment of Schedule 12) Regulations 2022 will include a change to the Act that ensures only converted assured shorthold tenancies will require deposit protection and other types of tenancy that convert will not need this. An example would include a resident landlord letting (not a lodger) where before the changes, upon conversion at the start of the Act, they would have required deposit protection.
Two months notice increased to six months for some converted tenancies
Before the amending regulations, a converted assured shorthold tenancy would have retained two months’ notice.
This is changed so that if there is a fixed term tenancy on the date of conversion (scheduled for 1 December), when that fixed term ends and becomes periodic, the length of notice will increase to six months.
However, if the assured shorthold tenancy is periodic on the conversion date, you will retain two months’ notice until that converted contract ends.
This only enforces our advice that you should complete a renewal based upon the new occupation contracts before the start of the Act, and you should use a periodic occupation contract. Such action will retain two months’ notice until that contract ends.
Grace period for smoke alarms, electrical reports and written statements
As the Act was written, if a fixed-term converted contract went periodic after the start of the Act, the requirement to install smoke alarms and obtain an electrical report would have lost the 12-month grace period. Similarly, a contract going periodic after the start would have lost the six-month grace period to issue a written statement.
The amending regulations fix this by removing the part of schedule 12, causing the unintended issue which the Guild had informed legislators about.
Other consequential amendments
The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2022 make a whole raft of changes to various pieces of legislation disapplying them to occupation contracts in Wales.
The legislation disapplied is already covered within the Act.
Examples include Section 48 (providing the name and address of the landlord) and Section 11 (repairing obligations).
The other two
The other two amending regulations not mentioned above are:
- The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (Amendment) Regulations 2022, and
- The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (Housing Association Tenancies: Fundamental Provisions) Regulations 2022.
These two don’t make any changes that would substantially affect our customers.