Farming union warns Welsh landlords to meet new rental rules

NFU Cymru has warned farmers who let accommodation to workers or private tenants to make sure they comply with law changes on rentals.

The law on renting homes in Wales will change on 1 December 2022. 

From that date, landlords will have to provide new and existing tenants with a written statement of terms, a spokesperson for the union said.

See also: 8 things farmers should know about conservation covenants

However, a clause in the legislation states this does not apply to tenancies that began before 15 January 1989.

For new occupancies, the written statement must be provided within 14 days of the date the occupier moved in.

Statements for existing tenants must be provided to the occupier no later than 31 May 2023.

This applies whether or not there was already a written agreement in place, NFU Cymru pointed out.

Failure to comply with the obligations could result in financial penalties and may make it more difficult to gain possession to the property.

Changes have also been made to a landlord’s ability to terminate a housing agreement.

This depends on the date that the occupier started living in the property.

Generally, occupation contracts started after 1 December 2022 can be terminated by giving the occupier six months’ notice.

But landlords may still need to find a legal ground for possession if the occupant is their farmworker and lived in the property before 1 December 2022.

Agricultural workers who took occupation before 15 January 1989 are not affected by these changes.

But the spokesperson warned farmers to check the occupation date to make sure the new rules do not apply.

There will also be new requirements to ensure properties are fit for human habitation. 

Key requirements include:

  • All rooms with a gas, solid fuel or oil-fired appliance must have a carbon monoxide alarm
  • Buildings must have mains-wired, linked smoke alarms with units on each storey
  • Each dwelling needs a valid electrical condition report – renewed every five years

Landlords with pre-existing tenancies will have 12 months to comply with the additional requirements for smoke alarms and electrical certificates, but carbon monoxide alarms apply to all dwellings from 1 December.