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MAKE YOUR FREE Occupation contract for a house in Wales

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How to make an Occupation contract for a house in Wales

For use in Wales only.

Use this fixed-term standard occupation contract to rent out a house in Wales in accordance with the new Welsh residential property rental laws, introduced on 1 December 2022 by the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.

Most residential properties rented out in Wales are now rented under an occupation contract. This is a new type of agreement created on 1 December 2022 by the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. Occupation contracts are comprehensive agreements that automatically include a range of important terms that protect contract holders (ie the person renting the dwelling under the occupation contract) and facilitate a fair relationship between the contract holder and the landlord. 

This template is a written statement of an occupation contract. It contains the automatically-included terms that occupation contracts must have. It can be used to set out the terms of the rental relationship and, when it’s signed by everybody, it will provide evidence of the agreed terms if a dispute arises. 

For more information, read Occupation contracts in Wales.

Use this occupation contract for a house: 

  • to rent out a house that you own to someone who will use it as their main home

  • for residential property only

  • to create a fixed-term standard occupation contract only

  • to create an occupation contract with a fixed term of 2 years and 11 months or less

  • for dwellings in Wales only

This occupation contract for a house template covers:

  • key matters of the occupation contract (eg the length of the fixed term, rent, dates, party details, and addresses)

  • the option to include a guarantor

  • whether a tenancy deposit is required

  • the explanatory information about occupation contracts, which the landlord is required to give to the contract holder

  • the terms of the occupation contract, including, for example, terms dealing with: 

    • deposits

    • how the contract holder may use the house

    • the landlord’s and the contract holder’s obligations to repair and care for the dwelling

    • how the occupation contract can be ended or changed

    • who is responsible for utility payments

    • rules about pets, parking, and insurance

  • the option to include certain additional terms. These include terms allowing: 

    • the landlord to communicate electronically with the contract holder about the occupation contract 

    • the contract holder to end the occupation contract early, in certain circumstances (ie a contract holder’s break clause

    • the landlord to end the occupation contract early, in certain circumstances and if the contract is for a fixed term of two years or longer (ie a landlord’s break clause)

  • signing provisions, including an option for the landlord to sign via an agent

  • an appendix setting out any terms of the occupation contract that are different to the terms that are automatically included in an occupation contract by law

An occupation contract will generally be automatically formed when a residential dwelling (eg a house) is rented out to somebody in Wales in exchange for rent. This is the case regardless of whether the contract is written down when it is created. 

There is a legal requirement, however, for the landlord to give the contract holder a written statement of their occupation contract within 14 days of the date that the contract holder is allowed to move into the dwelling. This occupation contract template constitutes a written statement for these purposes, so a landlord and a contract holder can agree to the terms and sign this contract and, by giving the contract holder a complete copy, the landlord can use it to fulfil their obligation to provide an initial written statement. 

For more information, read Occupation contracts in Wales

Occupation contracts can be ended in various ways. The options available in a particular situation depend on factors including the type of occupation contract, the terms included in the occupation contract, and the specifics of the situation. 

Generally, a fixed-term standard contract (such as this one) may be ended if: 

  • the landlord and the contract holder agree to end it

  • the contract holder or the landlord have breached the contract in a serious manner 

  • the contract holder is in serious rent arrears

  • in some situations, if the contract holder dies or abandons the dwelling

  • on estate management grounds

For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales. You can use our eviction notice templates for some of the grounds above, to start the process of repossessing a dwelling let under an occupation contract.

When the occupation contract’s fixed term ends, it will be automatically converted into a periodic standard contract if the contract holder remains in occupation of the dwelling.

The landlord cannot force the contract holder to leave at the end of the fixed term. If they want to evict them, they must use one of the valid methods of doing so (eg those under the FAQ ‘How can an occupation contract be ended’). 

This means that the contract holder can keep living in the dwelling in the same manner as before. However, it can be easier to end a periodic occupation contract than a fixed-term one. For example:

  • the landlord may usually carry out a ‘no faulteviction (ie they can evict the tenant without providing a reason why they’re doing so). This process can be started with a Section 173 notice for Wales

  • the contract holder can end the occupation contract by giving the landlord at least four weeks’ notice

For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales

This template can be used to create an occupation contract with a fixed term of up to 2 years and 11 months, as occupation contracts with a term of 3 years or more generally need to be witnessed. Note that the contract holder’s occupation as a result of this contract may still last longer than 2 years and 11 months, as the contract will be converted into a periodic standard occupation contract at the end of the fixed term. If you want to create an occupation contract with an initial fixed term longer than 2 years and 11 months, Ask a lawyer for assistance. 

An occupation contract contains specific types of terms: 

  • fundamental terms - important terms that are automatically included in an occupation contract, which either can’t be changed or can’t be changed unless:

    • the changes benefit the contract holder, and 

    • the landlord and contract holder both agree to the changes

  • supplementary terms - important terms that are automatically included in an occupation contract, which can usually be changed if the landlord and contract holder both agree to the changes

  • additional terms - terms that may be included in an occupation contract if the landlord and contract holder both agree. Additional terms must also not, for example, conflict with fundamental or supplementary terms

When an occupation contract includes a fundamental or a supplementary term that has been significantly changed (ie its meaning has been changed, not just its wording), the terms that have been changed (or removed) and the changes made must be recorded

This template will automatically note in an appendix any relevant terms that are altered when you complete our interview questions. If you want to alter any other terms of the occupation contract, make sure you do so in accordance with the law (eg the requirements for different types of terms, above), and consider Asking a lawyer for help. 

An occupation contract may also be varied after it has been created. The rules above (concerning different types of terms) must still be followed and the contract holder and the landlord must agree to the variation. The landlord must also give the contract holder a new, updated written statement of the occupation contract or a written statement of the terms that have changed. 

For more information, read Occupation contracts in Wales.

Alongside providing a written statement, things that landlords must do when renting out a house include: 

It’s also good practice to give contract holders a copy of Rent Smart Wales’ guide ‘A Home in the Private Sector: a Guide for Tenants in Wales’.

For more information, read Legal obligations of a landlord.

It is possible to have both joint landlords and joint contract holders under an occupation contract. In both cases, the rights and obligations associated with the role will generally be held by all landlords or all contact holders jointly. You can have as many joint contract holders as desired. 

This occupation contract template enables you to have multiple joint landlords who are individuals. If you need an occupation contract for multiple joint corporate landlords (eg companies, sole traders with trading names, or partnerships), or for multiple different types of joint landlord, you should Ask a lawyer for help. 

A guarantor is somebody who ‘guarantees’ the contract holder’s promise to pay rent. This means that, if the contract holder fails to meet their rent payments, the guarantor must pay the rent to the landlord instead

The landlord can require that the contract holder has a guarantor, who will also sign this occupation contract. This can be appropriate if, for example, the contract holder is a student or an early-career self-employed person with irregular income.

For more information, read Picking a tenant.

This occupation contract is designed specifically to be used to rent out a house. If you’re renting out another kind of dwelling in Wales, you could use an Occupation contract for a flat in Wales or an Occupation contract for a room in Wales

If you want to rent out a spare room in the dwelling that you live in (ie as a live-in landlord), you can use a Lodger agreement. For more information, read Taking in a lodger.  

If you’re renting out property elsewhere in the UK, you can use our other Tenancy agreement templates for England and Scotland.

If you have questions about how to make your occupation contract for a house in Wales, you can Ask a lawyer for assistance. Also consider asking for advice if:

  • you want to add, remove, or change any terms of the occupation contract

  • you need advice on how to meet one of your landlord’s legal obligations

  • you want to allow the contract holder to run a business from the house

  • you want to create an occupation contract for a term longer than 2 years and 11 months

  • there are more than three potential contract holders who are not one household (eg family), as the dwelling may constitute a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and may need to be licensed

Other names for an Occupation contract for a house in Wales

Occupation contract for a house, Occupation contract, Tenancy agreement for a house in Wales, Tenancy agreement for Wales, Lease agreement for a house in Wales, Lease agreement for a house, House rental agreement, House agreement form, Residential lease for a house, Tenancy agreement for a house, Fixed term occupation contract, Fixed term standard contract, Standard occupation contract.