Housing law in Wales is changing on December 1, 2022, but the changes will not affect Homeshare or Shared Lives. The new rules are contained within the Renting Home (Wales) Act 2016 and include a new standard that landlords must meet to let properties, known as “Fitness for human habitation.”
There is also an extension of the minimum “no fault” notice period – that is, the amount of notice a landlord must give if they want to end the tenancy without the tenant having broken the terms – from one month to six. Whilst Shared Lives Plus supports any progressive law which gives tenants greater security, it was feared that the latter change could jeopardise the freedom and flexibility to end a Homeshare or Shared Lives match if it isn’t working out – required by both parties under our person-centred models: Shared Lives carers and householders on the one hand, and people supported and homesharers on the other.
After extensive research of the new law, advice from Welsh Minister Julie James and conversations with Rent Smart Wales, we can confirm that none of the changes affect tenancy arrangements in which the Landlord lives with their tenant. Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the 2016 Act defines certain types of tenancy and licence that will not be occupation contracts. The ‘shared accommodation exception’ mentioned in paragraph 3(2) and defined at paragraph 6 of Schedule 2 accurately describes both Homeshare and Shared Lives arrangements.
Homeshare householders and Shared Lives carers in Wales will not need to alter their contracts, comply with the new “Fitness for human habitation” standards, or be subject to the new minimum no-fault notice term. We are investigating the proposed raft of reforms for private tenancies in England, slated to enter the UK parliament as a bill at some point next year, as well as the rules in Scotland and Northern Ireland for their potential impact on Homeshare and Shared Lives.