Home » Property Disputes » Residential Possession Claims and Evictions

Residential Possession Claims and Evictions

What is The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016?

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act was initially passed by the Welsh Government in 2016.

On 1st December 2022, the Act came fully into force, with the aim of simplifying the existing tenancy legislation, making it easier and more secure for individuals to rent a home in Wales. The Act has transformed how landlords deal with residential occupation agreements, as the previous systems of Assured Shorthold Tenancies (“AST”) and licences have now been overhaled.


Does the law relating to residential tenancies in Wales differ to those in England?

Yes, whilst the Court’s jurisdiction relates to England & Wales as one entity, there is now a separate system and parallel rules for residential tenancies in England and Wales.

Tenants are known as ‘contract-holders’ in Wales and tenancy agreements have been replaced with ‘occupation contracts’, which are effectively a written agreement setting out the terms of the tenancy. These new occupation contracts govern all tenancies granted in Wales on or after 1 December 2022. The process and court rules relating to possession claims also differ between England and Wales.


How do you prepare and serve a termination notice under the Renting Homes Wales (RHW) Act?

It is highly important that RHW notices are prepared and sent strictly in accordance with the new legislation.

Failure to satisfy the provisions of the legislation can result in the notice being deemed invalid and being unable to take legal action.


How does a landlord end an Occupation Contract if the tenant is not in breach?

There are a number of reasons why landlords might need to evict a contract-holder, through no fault of the contract-holder (e.g. when the landlord’s wishes to sell the property or undertake major work).

The previous ‘section 21 notice’ or ‘no fault’ system has been replaced with the procedure under section 173 of the Act and ‘RHW16 notices’.

Now a notice cannot be given until six months after the contract has started and must give at least 6 months’ notice.

Landlord break clauses are only included in occupation contracts which have a fixed term of two years or more, and the Landlord will not be able to exercise a break clause within the first 18 months.

Assuming the landlord is compliant with the Act and the surrounding regulation, they will be able to utilise an accelerated court procedure.

However, a RHW 16 notice cannot be relied upon if the Landlord is in breach of the Act or has not followed the new regulations relating to the condition of the property.


How does a landlord end an Occupation Contract if the tenant is in breach?

Whilst the Act has granted more time for tenants for ‘non-fault’ claims, it has created a quicker process for when there is a serious breach of the contract.

The previous ‘section 8 notice’ system has been replaced with the procedure under section 173 of the Act and ‘RHW20 notices’.

If a fault ground is being claimed (usually rent arrears or antisocial behaviour) the landlord will need to issue a notice and give at least 14 days to the contract-holder to remedy the breach.

If the problems remain, a claim is then issued via the standard possession procedure. Here the Court will have a hearing to determine if the contract has been breached and if there are sufficient grounds for possession and consider any defence put forward.


Does the condition of the property impact the landlord’s ability to get possession?

Yes, all rented properties in Wales must be fit for human habitation and the threshold will be based on the current Housing Health and Safety Rating System.

The Courts are particularly focused on seeking to prohibit retaliatory evictions, where a landlord only seeks to serve a termination notice once a tenant has complained about the condition of the property.

In all occupation contracts, landlords will be required to keep the structure and exterior of the property in repair as well as keeping utility installations and mains powered fire alarms in proper working order.

There are also rules relating to rent deposits, compliance certificates, fees, notices, licencing and registration that must be adhered to ensure that possession can take place.


When does the contract-holder need to vacate after an order for possession?

Usually within 14 days of the court making the order, but this can be extended for up to 42 days if the court finds that the person will suffer hardship by having to leave in 14 days.


Does a landlord need to obtain a possession order before taking back possession of a house or flat?

Yes, it is imperative that a landlord follows the correct procedure and obtains a court order before attending the property.

The landlord should ensure that Court bailiffs or authorised High Court Enforcement Officers attend to deal with any residential eviction. It will be a criminal office to seek to remove a residential tenant without complying with the appropriate rules.


If you need any advice on recovering possession of a residential property in Wales, please contact a member of our property disputes team or call 02920 829 100 for a free initial call to see how we can help.



To speak to one of our experts today, please contact us on 02920 829 100 or by using our Contact Us form for a free initial chat to see how we can help.

Contact Our Team
Kate Heaney
Senior Associate
View Profile
Patrick Murphy
Senior Associate
View Profile
Rhodri Lewis
View Profile
Siôn Fôn
Senior Associate
View Profile

I have worked with Darwin Gray for a number of years and the level of service, professionalism and timely response is second to none. I would highly recommend Darwin Gray to any business.”

Becs Beslee
Dice FM Ltd

Darwin Gray have provided us with a first-class service for many years now. They really take the time to understand our business and develop relationships which results in advice and support that is contextualised and effective.”

Rebecca Cooper
ACT Training

We have worked with Darwin Gray for several years and have always found their services and advice to be first class.”

Karen Gale
Stepping Stones Group

An extremely professional and sincere company who make time for your queries and understand the need to break down certain facts and information to ensure everything is understood perfectly. I would highly recommend the company to anyone looking for any type of legal advice”

Gwawr Booth
Portal Training Ltd

PSS has worked with Darwin Gray for many years. We have always received an excellent service. Prompt and professional advice and support.”

Ledia Shabani
Property Support Services UK Ltd

We have used several departments within DG recently and we have been very pleased with an effective, efficient and down to earth service. Very happy thus far and I expect that we will continue to use DG.”

Guto Bebb
Farmers’ Union of Wales

Darwin Gray offer us truly superb services. Very professional, quick and services available bilingually which is very important to us, highly recommend.”

Iwan Hywel
Mentrau Iaith Cymru

My “go to” in urgent and time sensitive cases for direction, support and advice. The team are quick to respond to calls or emails for advice and support on all matters. Always explain complex matters in a way a lay person can easily understand.”

Margot Adams
Guarding UK Ltd

Darwin Gray have acted for myself and my company over a number of years and at all times we have been treated with a professional manner yet maintain a common-sense approach at all levels. We couldn’t recommend them more highly.”

Simon Baston
Loft Co

We have been clients of Darwin Gray for many years; they’ve always dealt with all of our legal matters with such professionalism. They work around us, even during awkward hours, and we feel confident we can always rely on them.”

Louise Williams
ACT Training

Darwin Gray has been acting for Siltbuster for more than ten years. We would have no hesitation in recommending Darwin Gray to other organisations small or large.”

Richard D Coulton
Siltbuster Ltd

From the very first conversation, I had no doubt that Darwin Gray should be the firm to receive our instructions on this matter. I would have no hesitation in recommending Darwin Gray.”

Sandra Warr
Tomos TV

We regularly instruct Darwin Gray. Their service in dealing with our transactional matters and disputes is always professional, prompt and efficient.”

John Poppleton
Absolute Property Management Solutions Ltd

Darwin Gray guided me through a long and extended process that would have been much more difficult had it not been for their patience and constant support.”

Ifan Lewis

Excellent and efficient service. Great result achieved, highly professional and transparent on pricing. Would recommend.”

David Stevens

Superb legal service provided. Exceeded expectations. They went above and beyond in order to provide the best service possible.”

Huw Pickrell

Very professional and understanding. They were a calming influence in a very troubling situation and they brought it to a very successful conclusion”

Rachel Jones

We have used Darwin Gray and have been seriously impressed. The personal approach is what Darwin Gray are excelling on and is the reason why we will continue to work with them in the future.”

Cadwyn Housing Association