One of the UK’s best-known housing lawyers has criticised the Welsh government for the way it introduced the recently-enacted eviction extension of notice periods to six months.
David Smith (pictured, below) who works for London legal firm JMW Solicitors and is also legal counsel for the NRLA, says the decision to extend the notice periods on section 8 and 21 notices with immediate effect is a ‘silly change’ to the regulations.
“Ministers decided not to consult or allow a short period between announcing these regulations and bringing them into force,” he says. “This is in breach of their own ministerial code but they have justified this on the basis that there is an urgent need to bring certainty and security to Welsh tenants.
“I think this is a rather false justification as any security is limited and largely illusory.”
In Wales landlords now need to give six months’ notice to a tenant until 30 September 2020, at which point a landlord can issue a fresh notice citing the original shorter notice requirement as set out in the Housing Act 1988.
“In fact, almost every landlord [in both Wales and England] would be far better off doing this,” says Smith.
Unless the Welsh government plans to also alter the 30 September 2020 date as well, which it has not done in these regulations, this change does very little other than to give an inaccurate picture to tenants.
Smith says they can be issued with a six-month notice and think they still have time only to then be issued with a much shorter notice on 30 September by their landlord.