Part 5 - Tenancies and licences to which special rules apply: supported accommodation
53.Tenancies and licences relating to supported accommodation which a landlord initially intends to provide for no more than six months are not occupation contracts. The landlords to whom this applies are community landlords and registered charities. Section 143(2) defines supported accommodation.
54.If a tenancy or licence relating to supported accommodation continues beyond six months it will automatically become an occupation contract which is a ‘supported standard contract’; see section 143 and Part 8 of the Act generally. An exception to the automatic conversion to an occupation contract applies where the landlord extends the six month period by giving a notice under paragraph 15.
55.This means that an occupation contract will arise either immediately after the initial six-month period has ended (where there has been no extension) or (where there has been an extension) immediately after the date specified in the notice of extension. The period before the tenancy or licence becomes an occupation contract is referred to as the ‘relevant period’.
56.This paragraph sets out the effect previous contracts relating to supported accommodation have on the calculation of the relevant period. Generally, if there have been previous contracts that relate to supported housing, the relevant period will be calculated from the start date of the first of those contracts.
57.For any previous contract to be treated in this way it must relate to supported accommodation, and either to the same dwelling as the current contract or to a dwelling within the same building or unit.
58.As referred to in the preceding paragraphs, a landlord may extend the period during which a person living in supported accommodation does not have an occupation contract.
59.Where a landlord wishes to continue to provide supported accommodation beyond the six month period, but does not wish for the accommodation to be provided under an occupation contract, the landlord may extend that period. If the landlord is not a local housing authority, the landlord must obtain the consent of the local housing authority (defined in section 243) in whose area the accommodation is situated. An extension can granted for a period of up to three months at a time, but there can be more than one extension.
60.In order to extend the period, the landlord must give notice of an extension to the resident at least four weeks before the tenancy or licence would otherwise become an occupation contract (whether because an initial period is coming to end, or because a previous extension is in force but will soon be coming to an end).
61.The notice must provide all the details set out in paragraph 15(6) and (7) to the resident. This includes giving the reasons for the extension, informing the resident when the relevant period, as extended, will end, and informing the resident of his or her right to apply to the county court for a review of the decision to extend the period. The landlord is also required to consult with the resident before giving notice.
62.In considering whether to apply for an extension the landlord may consider the behaviour of the tenant or licensee and the behaviour of anyone appearing to the landlord to be living in the property.
63.The Welsh Ministers may make regulations setting out details of the procedure for obtaining consent from local housing authorities.
64.A person given a notice of extension by the landlord may ask the county court to review the decision to give the notice (if the landlord is a local housing authority) or to review the decision of the local housing authority to consent to the giving of the notice (if the landlord is not a local housing authority).
65.The court may confirm or quash the decision to give (or to consent to) the notice. The court may also vary the extension period, but not beyond the maximum extension of three months.
66.If the court quashes the original notice, the landlord may issue a further notice of extension. Should the landlord issue this new notice within 14 days of the court’s decision, it will be considered that the notice complies with the minimum 4 weeks’ notice period set out in paragraph 15, even if in practice it does not. This does not affect the time limit within which the resident may seek a review so, in practice, a resident can apply to the county court again under paragraph 16 for a review of that further notice.
67.A review of decisions to extend the relevant period is carried out by the county court, albeit in accordance with the principles applied by the High Court in a judicial review application. The same is true of all reviews undertaken by the county court under the Act.
68.Paragraph 17 provides a power for the Welsh Ministers to amend Schedule 2. The schedule contains significant detail and many definitions which are likely to require updating over time.