Wales: Use of a licence in “supported accommodation”

Intention not to create an occupation contract

1. Community landlords and registered charities that provide “supported accommodation” are still able to offer prospective residents licences (or tenancies) if the landlord intends that the accommodation should not be subject to an occupation contract. This might be the case for example where the landlord intends to provide the accommodation for a short period, eg no more than six months.

Community landlords

2. The main “community landlords” fall into one of the following categories:

  1. an authority such as a local authority, new town corporation, housing action trust, urban development corporation, or prescribed housing co-operatives.
  2. a registered social landlord (as defined in the Housing Act 1996) that is not a fully mutual or co-operative housing association.
  3. a private registered provider of social housing as defined in Section 80(3) of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008.

Registered charity

3. Registered charity means a charity registered under the Charities Act 2011. 

Supported accommodation

4. For accommodation to be considered “supported accommodation” for the purposes of the new Welsh renting regime it must meet the following criteria:

  1. it must be provided by a community landlord or a registered charity.
  2. the landlord or charity (or a person acting on behalf of the landlord or charity) must provide support services to a person entitled to occupy the accommodation.
  3. there must be a connection between the provision of accommodation and the provision of support services.
  4. accommodation in a care institution, as defined in paragraph 4 of Schedule 2, is not considered “supported accommodation” under this Act.

Support services

5. “Support services” are defined as including:

  1. support in controlling or overcoming addiction.
  2. support in finding employment or alternative accommodation.
  3. supporting someone who finds it difficult to live independently because of age, illness, disability or any other reason.1Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, s 143(4)


6. “Support” is defined as including the provision of:

  1. advice,
  2. training,
  3. guidance, and
  4. counselling. 

Use of a licence

7. A licence can be considered the most appropriate form of occupancy agreement for people in need of temporary or short-term housing (transitional supported accommodation). 

Conversions into a ‘supported standard contract’

8. If the license continues beyond six months, it automatically becomes a ‘supported standard contract’.

Rules for extension of the licence

9. The landlord may, however, extend the license for up to three months at a time with the proper notice and consultation with the resident.

Welsh Government guidance on extension

10.  The Welsh Government has provided guidance for landlords of supported accommodation on extending the relevant period (the licence agreement) before the licence becomes an occupation contract.2‘Supported Accommodation: Exceptional Approach to Extending the Relevant Period for a Tenancy or Licence  (GOV.WALES), 28 September 2022, accessed 25 January 2023

11. The  Guidance suggests that in certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to consider extending an individual’s license agreement for their supported accommodation.

12. These circumstances include:

  1. when the supported accommodation is intended to be very short-term (less than 6 months), but there is a delay in finding appropriate move-on accommodation, and the support provider wants to be able to move the individual swiftly when the right settled home becomes available; and
  2. when the supported accommodation is a refuge for survivors of violence against women, domestic abuse, or sexual violence, and individuals need to be moved into alternative accommodation quickly for safety reasons or into a more appropriate settled home when one is identified.

13. However, it is emphasised that any consideration should be on a case-by-case basis, with a person-centered approach and a trauma-informed way of working, fully involving the person concerned.

The landlord’s notice of extension

14. To be effective the notice of extension must be given at least four weeks before the 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).

Consultation with resident

15. The landlord must consult the licensee before giving the notice of extension.

Local housing authority’s consent

16. If the landlord of “support accommodation” is not a local housing authority, it must also have the consent of the local housing authority in whose area the accommodation is provided. Licence extension forms may be available from the local housing authority.3‘Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016: Information for Landlords’ (Swansea), see What is the process for applying for a licence extension? accessed 25 January 2023

Contents of notice

17. The notice is not prescribed by Welsh Government but must include:

  1. the reasons for the extension,
  2. the date on which the relevant period will come to an end;  and
  3. inform the licensee of their right to apply for a review in the county court.

18. Welsh Government guidance also says the notice should: 

  1. state that the local housing authority in whose area the accommodation is provided has consented to the extension – if the landlord is not the local housing authority; 
  2. inform the licensee of the time by which the application for a review by the county court must be made (usually 14 days from the day on which the landlord gives the licensee a notice of extension).

Resident’s conduct

19. In making the decision to extend the relevant period the landlord may take into account the conduct of the licensee. 

20. The Welsh Government Guidance says that concerns about a person’s conduct should not automatically be used as justification for extending a license agreement for supported accommodation. Instead, a person-centred and trauma-informed approach should be adopted to support the licensee in overcoming any challenges in their life, with the goal of them being able to manage an occupation contract after the initial six-month period.

21. The Guidance goes on to state that a decision to extend a license agreement due to a person’s conduct should only be made in exceptional circumstances where the person’s conduct may pose a risk to other tenants or staff. In other words, the focus should be on helping the individual overcome their challenges and achieve independence, rather than punishing them for their behaviour.

Resident’s right to a review of the landlord’s decision

22. The resident may apply for a review of the landlord’s decision to extend the “relevant period” of a license. 

23. The licensee can apply to the county court for a review of:

  1. the landlord’s decision to give a notice of extension – if the landlord is a local housing authority, or
  2. the local housing authority’s decision to consent to the landlord giving the notice of extension.

Time limits

24. The resident’s application should be made within 14 days of the landlord giving the notice of extension.

Out-of-time applications

25. The county court may, however, give permission for the resident’s application to be made after this period if there is a good reason for the inability to make the application in time and any delay in applying for permission.

Principles on which the court’s decision is made

26. In considering whether to confirm or quash the decision or vary the length of the extension, the county court must apply the principles applied by the High Court on an application for judicial review.

Decisions available to the court

27. The county court may: 

  1. confirm the decision to extend the relevant period, or
  2. quash the decision,  or
  3. vary the length of the extension (subject to a maximum of three months). 

28. If the county court quashes the decision:

  1. the notice of extension is of no effect, and
  2. the court may make any order the High Court could make when making a quashing order on an application for judicial review.
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