Wales to consult on extending eviction notice period

Michael Lloyd

July 8, 2019

Welsh housing minister Julie James said she will launch a consultation about extending the minimum notice period that landlords are required to give under the Renting Homes Act from two months to six months.

She will also be asking for views on restricting landlords from issuing such a notice in the first six months of the rental contract.

James said: “These proposals would improve security of tenure for all tenants but also recognise that there are legitimate reasons why a landlord may need possession of their property; it’s important that we get the balance right.

“Good quality renting is a vital part of addressing the housing challenges we face in Wales.

“I am optimistic that we can overcome the final barriers to implementing our Renting Homes Act and that tenants will feel all the benefits of the changes before the end of this Assembly.”

However, the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) said that, unlike in England, the Welsh government does not have plans to offer alternative routes for landlords to evict tenants should they wish to move back into a property, sell or comprehensively refurbish it.

It said extending the notice period for so-called ‘no fault’ evictions in Wales would give tenants 12-month contracts by default.

The RLA said it’s scandalous the government is planning such changes without first reforming possession routes for the vast majority of landlords who have legitimate reasons to repossess their property.

Douglas Haig, RLA vice chair and director for Wales, added: “This is scandalous move that is essentially introducing 12-month contracts by default.

“Creating a situation where a property cannot be repossessed within the first six months and then introducing a further six-month notice period could cause huge problems for landlords.

“They will be left powerless when it comes to problem tenants, who will be legally allowed to stay in the property for a year. If tenants are not paying rent, huge arrears could build up in this time.

“We will be warning government that this move could cause serious damage to landlord confidence and the availability of homes to rent in Wales, at a time when demand continues to increase.

“The government needs to ensure that landlords with a genuine need to regain possession of their properties are able to do so.”

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