Landlords in Wales won’t be able to evict tenants for a year
Welsh housing minister Julie James AM (Assembly Member) has announced plans to extend the Section 173 notice period from two to six months, meaning it will be a year in total before a landlord is able to repossess.
Under Section 173 of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, the Welsh equivalent of Section 21, private landlords can’t repossess properties in the first six months of the tenancy.
New plans to extend the notice period for so-called ‘no fault’ evictions in Wales would effectively give tenants 12-month contracts by default, said The Residential Landlords Association (RLA).
The organisation said it is 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.
RLA Vice Chair and director for Wales, Douglas Haig, said: “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.”
The Welsh government will now consult on whether to increase the minimum notice period of Section 173 from two months to six months, and on plans to restrict issuing of a Section 173 for six months after the start of the contract.