The Welsh government have introduced a 6-month notice period for landlords seeking to evict their tenants.
The announcement was made on Thursday 23rd July and applies to notices given on or after Friday 24th July.
These measures are in place until Wednesday 30th September 2020 and will affect notices served under Section 8 and Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government has stated:
“The effect will to be to further delay evictions during the ongoing public health emergency; fewer people will face eviction into homelessness at a time when local authorities are less able to respond to these situations; those renting their homes will benefit from increased security and reduced anxiety, and individuals at risk of eviction will be provided with increased time to seek support to resolve any problems.”
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Response from the rental sector
Many landlords are extremely disappointed with this decision and fear their financial security is not being considered.
The new ruling could have devastating consequences for landlords who are already facing months of arrears and depend upon their rental income to get by.
Ben Beadle, chief executive of NRLA has called the ruling “a real hammer blow to landlords in Wales.”
“Some may already have tenants who were building up arrears prior to COVID-19, now not only have they been hit by the five-month moratorium on repossessions but they will have to give a further six months’ notice.”
The NRLA are now calling for the Welsh government to help landlords by offering free loans to tenants to cover unpaid rent and remove any risk of eviction. Beadle states, “Where tenants refuse to apply for loans but continue to build arrears, landlords will need greater assistance”.
Will England have 6-month eviction notices?
With 6-month evictions already in place in Scotland, will England now follow suit?
We all know the English parliament have a history of piggybacking off of Scotland’s rental legislation. In 2019, both England and Wales banned tenant fees – something Scotland had in place back in 2011. Similarly, Electrical Installation Condition Reports are now compulsory for new lets in England – but this has been the case in Scotland since 2014.
With this pattern of legislative decision making in mind, perhaps the question we should be asking is not if 6-month notices will be coming to England – but when.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
Evictions processes have also changed in England: Government Changes to Evictions: August 2020.