Renting Homes (Wales) Act Frequently Asked Questions

Can my tenant withhold rent due to a Fitness For Human Habitation dispute?

The conditions around a Fitness For Human Habitation dispute are covered as a supplemental term in the Renting Homes (Wales) Act. Therefore, through negotiation and agreement the matter of rent can be put aside until after the dispute has been settled. So, the tenant could agree to pay the rent whilst the dispute goes on and the landlord would agree to pay back any rent at the instruction of the Courts and the Judge at the end. The NRLA model contract will reflect this as a condition.

We at the NRLA do advise you to try to avoid these disputes wherever possible and to remain in communication with your tenant to try to ensure that these Fit For Human Habitation disputes do not escalate 


Does my tenant pay in arrears under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act

The payment of rent by the tenant is covered in "Key Matters" under the Renting Homes (Wales) legislation and the landlord has the ability to propose a contract that states that the rent is payable at the start of each calender month on a recurring cycle. Therefore, the NRLA model contract that rent is due at the start of each month and payable to the landlord on a regular basis, in advance


Is there a deadline for ensuring my properties meet Fit For Human Habitation requirements?

Under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act your property needs to have the designation of Fit For Human Habitation from 1st December 2022. However, where the relationship remains between you as the landlord and a sitting tenant that designation and the works can be delayed until the 1st December 2023. A list of all of the items covered by that part of the legislation can be found on our website. Of course, as a responsible landlord you will want to ensure your property is maintained to a good quality standard and safe to live in even prior to the legislation coming into force.


What do I need to know about Carbon Monoxide sensors and the Renting Homes (Wales) Act?

On 1st December 2022 you have a legal obligation to provide a battery powered Carbon Monoxide sensor in every room that has a solid fuel burning appliance. This must be provided on 1st December 2022, there is no grace period for their provision. If the tenant however tampers with the sensor, or removes the batteries for any purpose, you are under no obligation to replace those batteries or fix the sensor. What you must do is provide the sensor on the 1st of December and prove that it was done. To give you peace of mind you may wish to decide to pay a few extra pounds and purchase a tamper proof sensor, just so that you know that your house is safe.


Who decides if my property is Fit For Human Habitation?

Under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act there are 29 Matters and Circumstances that will decide if your property is considered to be Fit For Human Habitation. Should your tenant consider that any of those have been broken they must raise it with you immediately and you must take action in what is called a "reasonable time". If you and the tenant cannot decide between you that the property is Fit For Human Habitation then the tenant can withhold the rent and any dispute must be taken before the Courts. Ultimately, it is the Court that will decide whether your property is Fit For Human Habitation.


What are my obligations as a landlord in relation to smoke alarms under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act?

Under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act you now have a legal obligation to install hard wired in fire and smoke alarms into the property. But, there is a grace period built into the legislation that allows you to complete the work by the 1st December 2023 where your current tenant remains in the property. Should that tenant leave and a new tenant come in then you will be required to do the work before the new contract can start. So, you may wish to consider doing the work sooner rather than later to reduce the amount of time between one tenant leaving and a potential new one coming in.


How long does my EICR last under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act?

Your Electronic Installation Condition Report, more commonly known as an EICR, can last up to five years under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act. But, the key phrase is "can last". The actual length of time that it is valid is actually down to the amount of time given to you on the certificate by your electrician or electrical engineer. So, the length of time that they issue you on that certificate is the important part when you need to consider when you need to replace your EICR.


Does the NRLA have a new checklist to reflect the new legislation? 

Renting Homes (Wales) has a few mandatory requirements that need to be met such as providing a written statement of the terms, issuing a gas safety certificate and fitting smoke alarms. 

To help you show you have met all these requirements, the NRLA has produced a checklist for occupants to sign as evidence -

Do I need to retrain/reapply for Rent Smart Wales? 

All Rent Smart Wales licensees who have received their licence since July 2020 must complete approved training by the 28 February 2023 on Renting Homes Wales because it is a condition of their, or their employers, Rent Smart Wales licence.   

The NRLA has been working closely with Rent Smart Wales and is now offering approved training on the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 prior to its implementation on 1 December 2022. 

When does my existing tenancy agreement change to an occupation contract? 

The existing tenancy agreement converted on December 1 2022. However, you don’t need to provide a written copy of the converted terms until May 31 2023. If the contract-holders are still there on May 31st you will need to give them the converted contract.

Guidance on converting the terms can be found at

How long can I offer a term of an occupation contract, what is too short or too long? 

There is no minimum term on an occupation contract and you can, should you wish, start the contract rolling on periodically.  

However, you may not serve a Section 173 notice to end the contract within the first six months of occupation or during a fixed occupation contract. As the Section 173 notice is six months long, this will give the tenants security of tenure for at least 12 months if they don’t breach the contract terms. 

How much notice is required if a contract-holder wants to leave? 

If all contract holders want to end a periodic contract, then they are required to serve 4 weeks notice to the landlord. This must be all contract holders acting together to end the contract. Landlords cannot require a longer notice period as this is a fundamental term.

If just one contract holder wants to leave, then they can withdraw from a periodic contract by serving notice on the landlord and providing a copy to the remaining contract holders. The landlord must then also warn the remaining contract holders that one of them intends to leave.

Withdrawal notices will normally require the contract holder to give one month's notice before withdrawing from the contract. However, if you are using the NRLA occupation contract, this has been changed to require two months notice, to give extra protection to landlords.

Will the deposit scheme change the prescribed information? 

The deposit schemes will have to update their prescribed information to account for the new contracts as they make substantial references to assured shorthold tenancies.  

In their view, converting a contract will not require the landlord to reissue the prescribed information and the Welsh Government has introduced legisltaion to confirm older deposits will not need to be re-protected or have paper work re-issued.

What happens with the Section 21 notice? 

Following discussions with the NRLA, the Welsh Government has introduced legislation to allow Section 21 and Section 8 notices served before December to still be used in court for a short time after. Landlords who do want to use these notices should apply to court relatively soon.

How long should my Section 173 notice be? 

A Section 173 notice will normally require six months notice as a minimum. It can only be served once the contract is rolling on periodically. 

The only exceptions to this are where the contract converts over on 1 December 2022. In these cases, you can include a clause in the written statement allowing you to serve two months notice in either the fixed term or the periodic term of the contract.