Emergency Eviction Laws to be made Permanent
- AuthorBenjamin Davies
The Welsh Government has taken steps to make permanent a number of changes originally introduced to assist tenants during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill was passed on 23 February 2021 and will amend the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 to give residential tenants in Wales greater protection. As part of these changes, rental contracts in Wales will need to afford tenants the security and stability of a minimum 12-month contract.
Perhaps most significantly, the minimum notice periods for “no fault evictions” will be extended so that landlords seeking to terminate a tenancy on “no fault” grounds will be required to serve six months’ notice instead of two. In addition to this, landlords will only be able to serve notice six months after their tenants have moved into the property.
There is some good news for landlords in that the six month notice period will not apply where the tenant is in breach of their contractual obligations, for example rent arrears. In those circumstances landlords should still be able to seek possession of the property pursuant to the breach of contract.
In addition, rental contracts will be simplified and standardised with model contracts available. Housing and local government minister Julie James has said that landlords will get “clearer” contracts that would “reduce disputes and legal costs”. It remains to be seen however whether these changes will indeed represent a fairer, simpler and more efficient system for renting homes in Wales.
The Bill has not yet received Royal Assent but the changes are expected to come into force in Spring 2022.