Since 1 December 2022, most people in Wales will rent residential property under an occupation contract. This is an agreement between the landlord and the contract holder. Most of those who previously rented residential property under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement or licence will have their contract converted to an occupation contract.
Occupation contracts can either be standard occupation contracts or secure occupation contracts depending on the type of landlord.
For more information, read Occupation contracts in Wales.
What is a contract holder?
A contract holder is a term introduced by the Act. It applies to individuals (over 18) who rent a dwelling (ie residential property) from a landlord in Wales.
Under the Act there is less distinction between ‘tenants’ and ‘licensees’, so the term ‘contract holder’ may apply to both so long as they are renting under an occupation contract.
What are joint contract holders?
Under the Act, contract holders can be joint contract holders. This means that, with the landlord’s consent (which must not be unreasonably withheld or delayed), a new contract holder can be added to an existing contract without the contract coming to an end. Similarly, an existing joint contract holder can move out and leave the occupation contract without it coming to an end.
Joint contract holders are fully liable for all the obligations under the contract. This means that if one joint contract holder does not pay rent, the remaining joint contract holders will be liable for the rent in full. However, joint contract holders are only liable for the obligations of the contract for the duration that they are a contract holder under the contract. In other words, once a contract holder leaves the contract, they will no longer be liable for any obligations under the contract.