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Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016

Sections 74 to 76 – Persons qualified to succeed

225.A person can be qualified to succeed to an occupation contract as either a priority successor or a reserve successor. This will mean that in practice there may, in the fullness of time, be two successions to an occupation contract (but no more). That is because,

  • Where a person has succeeded as a priority successor then, in the event of his or her death, there can be one more succession (by a reserve successor).

  • But if a person has succeeded to the contract as a reserve successor (and this includes anyone who succeeded to the contract after the death of a person who was a priority successor), then no further succession is possible.

226.A priority successor is the spouse or civil partner (or those living together as spouse or civil partner) of the contract-holder, who occupied the dwelling as their only or principal home at the time of the contract-holder’s death.

227.A reserve successor is a family member who occupied the dwelling as their only or principal home at the time of the contract-holder’s death. A family member is defined, in section 250, as being:

a.

the spouse or civil partner of the contract-holder, or someone living with the contract-holder as a spouse or civil partner;

b.

the contract-holder’s parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece (see section 250).

228.A person who is related to the contract-holder in one of the ways mentioned in paragraph (b) above must also meet the basic residence condition in order to be a reserve successor, which is that throughout the 12 months preceding the contract-holder’s death the person lived in the dwelling that is subject to the occupation contract, or lived with the contract-holder. Such a requirement does not apply to a spouse or civil partner (or those living together as spouse or civil partner) succeeding as a reserve successor.

229.Where the contract-holder who has died was a priority successor in relation to the current occupation contract, then a person who is a member of the original contract-holder’s family will be a reserve successor. If the person is related to the original contract-holder in one of the ways mentioned in paragraph 227(b) above, for the purposes of calculating a 12 month period of living with the contract-holder, any periods living with the original contract-holder will be taken into account.

230.There are two classes of person unable to succeed to a contract. First, anyone under 18 years of age (because they cannot be a party to an occupation contract).

231.Secondly, those who occupied the dwelling (or part of it) under a sub-occupation contract at any time during the 12 month period before the contract-holder died. But where a sub-occupation contract has ended before the contract-holders death, and the sub-holder was the contract-holder’s spouse of civil partner, that person can still succeed to the contract (despite being a former sub-holder).

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Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the National Assembly for Wales.

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