Contract Holder Notice WALES!

My first Welsh Occupational Contract holder (from 23rd January 2023) has just informed me that she wishes to vacate the property, due to a domestic issue. Technically her fixed term ends on the 23rd July, however she has only just informed me that she wishes to leave.
Her contract states that if she stays on in the property after the end of the fixed term, then the contract will become periodic (which I am happy about and have always allowed this to be the case with my tenancy contracts).
However, I have just scanned and searched her OpenRent Occupational Contract, and can find nothing in her which gives any indication of what notice period she should be giving me, in this case.
Previously, OpenRent contract have stated that this should be a month, even with a fixed term contract, if the agreement is able to be a periodic contract; so this is what I was expecting to see.
Can anyone help please? She is going to call me today, but I am not sure how to advise her.
Also, her guarantor (ex father in law) has given notice that he does not wish to act as guarantor anymore.
I realise that this tenancy will be ending, and that is fine, but I really don’t want to be out of pocket because I have not been given a notice to leave by the contract holder.

The contract-holder has to give at least 4 weeks notice to the Landlord to end a standard periodic occupation contract. This is set out in the statute law at sections 168 and 169 RHWA 2016


I’ll double down on @Dan4’s answer … It’s now at least 28 days/4 weeks. It also doesn’t have to be on a rent day any longer in Wales, so effectively she can hand 28 days notice any time during a periodic contract.

It does slightly complicate things, as you may end up needing to refund a few days rent, or working out a pro-rata rent to charge for the last month.

1 Like

Thanks Dan4
I found this in the Act but was rather confused that there was nothing specifying this detail in the contract. Seems wrong, considering that the contracts are supposed to be clear for all.

Thanks Martin19.
I’m still reeling from all the issues that the new contracts have created. It’s unbelievable that the detail that should be in them isn’t and so much other confusing detail in them.

I’ve just attempted to explain why it’s missing, but my reply has been moderated.

There appears to be fairly severe flaw in the OpenRent contracts, and think they need to get a solicitor to review their contract/process. This contract only covers the fixed term of the agreement. It says it will roll over into a new standard periodic contract after it ends. But from what I gather, that means unless you issue a fixed term renewal contract, the terms in the fixed term all get replaced with the terms in the statute for a periodic contract. This removes lots of things that a landlord wouldn’t want to remove, like technically allowing any number of permitted occupiers.

Also, I believe this would trigger a need to issue a written statement of the periodic contract to the tenants. Which if you don’t do within 14 days, means you’re liable to compensation/penalties (unlikely, unless you go to court).

The NRLA has worked around this by making their contract cover both the fixed term and the periodic terms. The OpenRent contract doesn’t do this.

1 Like

Just to add it’s technicallyt 4 weeks and a day, as the 4 weeks starts the day after you get the notice.

There may be a strange reason that the notice period is not listed in the OpenRent contract. I think it identifies a fairly large flaw in the OpenRent contract, that it reverts to a Standard Periodic Occupation Contract and does not carry on the terms agreed within the fixed term. This was something the NRLA was warning about when using the Welsh Gov model statements. So essentially the statute laws will apply once the fixed term runs out, not the terms in the fixed term agreement.

But in this case, the 4 weeks notice is a fundamental term in the law so it can’t be altered by a contract anyway.

1 Like

Thanks for this.
Inhave replied to your first message but am waiting for it to be approved.

Thank you for your post. The statutory terms for periodic occupation contracts that are set out in the Renting (Homes) wales Act 2016 will apply to the periodic contract regardless of whether they are included in the written statement of contract for the fixed term occupation contract or as a separate written statement of contract for a periodic occupation contract.
As you say the Landlord does have a duty to provide a written statement of contract when the occupation contract turns periodic and we are currently working to provide some more guidance/ assistance with this.
Daniel - OpenRent team

But there is more to it than that, the fundamental statute terms will always apply, Yes. But it’s been well discussed by much more knowledgeable people than me that the new standard periodic contract is a new contract. It will revert to all the statute/model terms for the fundamental (F+) and supplemental terms (S), and the periodic will lose any rights (amendments to the F+, S or additional terms) that were agreed in the fixed contract. There are some really important terms in those, like allowing any permitted occupiers without needing landlord permission. Other contracts we’ve used have terms to cover the carry over of the terms to the new contract. The OpenRent contract doesn’t appear to.

In @Vivien3’s case, she hasn’t been made aware that she should be serving a written statement to her current tenant within the next few days to cover the new periodic contract that has started, even if the tenant is giving notice. Along with others that have 6 month contracts since 1st Dec that may have expired now. There has been nothing from OpenRent on this.

I feel that OpenRent really needs to improve their support on the legislation differences in Wales. It’s been horrifically implemented by Welsh Government, but there are many new and inexperienced landlords reliant on being pushed in the right direction by OpenRent.

@DavanProps thank you for bringing that to my attention. I hadn’t considered the impact that it may cause me if I don’t send a written statement to the tenant. I will make sure that I get this sorted over the weekend.
I have found the whole Wales thing so stressful and OpenRent have added to that stress with false promises of assistance being issued.
I have relied on them, up until this point, as they have always served me well. However, they have really ‘dropped the ball’ this time, in my opinion. I hope that they are sharper with the English Rental Reform issues.
KR’s Viv

1 Like

I feel that OpenRent’s constant comments that they are ‘working on providing more guidance’ is not good enough.
This was the stance that they took, prior to the deadline date, but the assistance never came! It’s a very poor show in my opinion, as there is no reason why OpenRent could not have employed proper legal advisors in this, and put out some conversion contracts, in the same way that the NRLA has.
This is not the first time that I have mentioned this on this forum. However, nothing is forthcoming!
I have been a user of OpenRent for several years, with no complaint. However, I feel that it has turned into ‘just’ an online website, which generates money for it’s owners. It has completely lost sight of the reason that the company was set up in the first place!
Whenever I have asked advice, via the help messaging, I get a generic reply which always refers me back to the website (which I have already read through endless times!). The call centre advice results in excactly the same result; they are not qualified to answer anything, except to refer back to the web page.
I am totally dissatisfied with your company. They have left many Welsh landlords ‘high and dry’, and feeling very vulnerable and unsupported, during a very testing time.
I, for one, will not be carrying on with OpenRent going forward, except for perhaps advertising (but the NRLA seem to be getting themselves sorted out in that department as well), unless I see some positive progression, and advice phone lines, available for your customers.
As a landlord I would be more than happy to pay a membership fee to help to get this up and running.
Also, I would prefer that when I call, the call is picked up by someone who knows what they are talking about. It’s not the call centre staff’s fault but I do feel as though the business is being run on a shoestring.
I used to be very happy, in the beginning, being able to call in to speak to a knowledgeable person.

1 Like

Thanks for your reply.
Yes, youre right about the terms. Hadnt thought about it.
To be honest, I’m not at all happy with the way OpenRent have handled this transition period and will probably swap all contracts over to the NRLA ones after their initial 6 month tem is up. They are much more approachable and easy to contact, and appear to have their finger on the pulse, as much as it can be with the constant fluidity of the WAG legislation.

1 Like

It’s actually your original post on here that made me go and check our OpenRent agreements. So thanks for that too, or I wouldn’t have checked.
Fortunately we only have 2 new contracts since the changes and they started in May, so some time to sort out how to handle after the fixed term.

1 Like

[quote=“Vivien3, post:1, topic:51960”]
Also, her guarantor (ex father in law) has given notice that he does not wish to act as guarantor anymore.
If the tenant decided to stay on I dont think the guarantor can legally give up his liability

1 Like

Re Leslie1 comment on the guarantor. I’m unsure the situ in Wales but my understanding is the guarantor cannot stop being a guarantor whilst the contract is in place. Unless the LL agrees. In view of the contract changes going to periodic I wonder if under the Welsh laws the guarantor’s responsibility changes?

This brings a query on English law and guarantors.

A recent situ for me is a guarantor wanted out because of a family squabble and I said no I didn’t accept. They said as rent increases had happened they were not obligated. Having checked the old AST there were no conditions for the guarantor stating responsibly even with rent increases.

A lesson for us all to include in our contracts.

1 Like

No, he can’t but it does make things more difficult.

You’re welcome :blush:
I’m so cross about it all.

No, i dont think he can just give up being a guarantor. However, in order to keep him, i would need to let the contract roll onto a periodic one, under the WAG rules, which i dont want to do. He has refuaed to sign any new contracts, so I’m stuck without a guarantor.

The wording in the openrent contract says the guarantee applies “during the initial term or any extension, renewal or continuation of this occupation contract.” Think you just need to get some clarification over how/if the new periodic contract is covered in that.