The Welsh government has introduced legislation to its National Assembly that will triple the time it takes to remove a tenant from a property via the ‘no fault’ eviction process from two to six months.
Currently, in Wales landlords must wait until six months have passed before they can serve notice through a ‘no fault’ eviction but, if they have planned ahead and served an unused Section 21 notice at the start of the tenancy, immediately evict a tenant.
But once the new legislation, which is an amendment of the existing un-enacted Rent Homes 2016, becomes law this will not be possible.
A letting agent or landlord wishing to evict a tenant via a no-fault notice will have to wait until six months has passed from the beginning of the tenancy, serve notice and then wait for a further six months.
The amendment is designed to increase safety of tenure for tenants, particularly those with children in local schools and those being cared for or with ill health.
But the Welsh government also wants to give tenants enough time to find an equally affordable and suitable home nearby.
The Rent Homes 2016 Act will replace the existing Housing Act 1988 and Section 21 notices will now be know as Section 173 notices. As with the existing eviction legislation, the new rules assume the tenant has not broken the terms of their contract.
But the Amendment has not been welcomed by ARLA Propertymark. “Extending notice periods from two months to six months under the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill will cause further shockwaves for landlords and agents,” says Chief Executive David Cox (left).
“The proposals will make it even more difficult for landlords to reclaim possession of their property and add further longevity to an already lengthy and expensive eviction process.
“The Welsh Assembly must reconsider extending the minimum notice period and take a long-term, holistic view that supports those who are providing professional and well managed tenancies.”