FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About the New Renting Homes Act
In our previous blog on the Renting Homes Act (RHA), ‘How the New Renting Homes Act Affects You’, we covered a lot of information for customers and landlords alike so everyone could be informed on what the new changes were and how they were going to be affected.
With the RHA now coming into action from December 1st 2022, this is a customer-focused FAQ which will allow you to quickly find the information you’re looking for. Read on for to have your RHA FAQs answered.
What is the RHA?
To read a more in-depth answer of what the RHA is, check out our previous blog on the RHA. However, the short answer is that the new RHA is a change to the existing RHA (2016) and will change the way landlords rent their properties, improving contract-holder (formerly known as tenants) rights and living conditions through increased landlord and contract-holder transparency.
When does the new RHA start?
The new RHA will start from December 1st 2022.
Why is the law changing?
The law is changing to making renting in the private and public sectors simpler. As a result, contract-holders are ensured better living conditions and more rights in regard to the property they’re renting. This is being done to ensure fair treatment from landlords and greater security, which is essential as we move into the increased cost of living.
How does the change affect contract holders’ contracts?
Contract-holders will still have the same rights and responsibilities under their old tenancy agreement, however, as part of their new occupation contracts new rights and responsibilities will be combined with the old one to reflect the changes to the RHA. Some of these changes include:
- Longer notice periods
- Joint contracts can be more easily made and amended
- Two months notice period for rent increases
- A new contract outlining contract-holder and landlord rights and responsibilities
How can contract holders receive their new contract?
Depending on your preference, your landlord will either send your new occupation contract in a written statement or electronically. For existing contract-holders, your landlord must issue this statement by June 2023 and if you’re moving into your new on or after December 1st 2022, then your landlord must issue the statement within 14 days.
Is rent going to increase?
No – the new RHA won’t be the reason for any rent increases contract-holders may experience after December 1st2022.
What is succession and how does it work?
Succession is a new feature that comes with the new RHA. It means that if you die while renting a property, you can pass on that tenancy to a family member or carer if they live with you at the property. The property can be passed on two times through a priority succession, such as a spouse or partner, and a reserve succession, such as an adult child or carer.
What is Fitness for Human Habitation (FFHH)?
FFHH will help to ensure every rented property is fit for human habitation and landlords will hold this responsibility. If contract-holders think this requirement has not been met they can decide not to pay rent for the duration the property isn’t FFHH.
You should discuss and raise the issue with your landlord first, and if a dispute arises, then it’s up to the court if the landlord has complied with FFHH or not.
These RHA FAQs should hopefully cover what you need to know about the new RHA and what changes to expect come December 1st 2022. But to address some more specific questions about Linc and the RHA, we’ll take a look at some Linc RHA FAQs below.
Linc RHA FAQs:
How does the RHA affect Linc?
Housing associations are landlords too, so we’ll also have to comply with all the changes set out by the new RHA, such as longer notice periods, handing out new contracts, etc. We’re so happy about the RHA changes as with these changes comes more benefits for our customers. Here at Linc, we believe in creating the right environment that supports and contributes to improving the quality of people’s lives; the new RHA will only further help us and other landlords to ensure our customers can flourish in our homes.
How does this affect Linc customers?
And just like all other contract-holders across Wales, our customers will also benefit from the changes brought on by the new RHA and will have new rights and responsibilities just like us. As previously mentioned, we’ve always strived to provide our customers with home environments that allow them to live out a happy home life, and the new RHA will only further instil this value that we hold so dearly.
What are Linc doing to ensure a smooth transition?
We’re actively working to make our customers’ existing contracts compliant with the new RHA and we’re making new contracts for any new contract-holders that join us after December 1st 2022. We’re also ensuring our procedures and documentation are up to date with new legislation.
But as for day-to-day life, our customers shouldn’t notice too much of a difference other than receiving their new contracts. Customers can still do all the things they could do before, such as reporting repairs, paying rent and getting in contacting with us.
Where can customers find more support?
More information can be found on the Welsh Government website where they cover even more FAQs. However, if you’d like to speak to someone here at Linc, you can always contact us and we’ll set up a call with the right person for your question.
We do also send out letters with updates and relevant news, such as the RHA, to our customers, but if you’d prefer to receive these types of updates via email you can sign up digitally.
There you have it, there’s some FAQs on the new RHA and how Linc are striving to best support customers during this time. For more information on the new Renting Homes Act and how Linc will support our customers, get in touch for a chat.