A temporary increase in the notice period for evictions has been introduced in Wales in a bid to provide greater protection against homelessness for tenants in private rented and housing association accommodation.
The change, announced by Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James, means that unless a tenant is being evicted on the grounds of anti-social behaviour, they will be entitled to six months’ notice instead of three. This will apply for all notices issued until at least the end of September.
“Whilst the coronavirus outbreak is affecting everyone, we know it is having a more significant financial impact on some of the more vulnerable people in our society, many of whom are tenants in private rented accommodation,” said James.
“It is vital that no renter in Wales will be forced out of their home during this difficult time. These temporary changes will ensure fewer people will face eviction into homelessness at a time when local authorities are less able to respond to these situations, those renting their homes will have more security, and those at risk of eviction will have more time to get help to resolve any problems.”
While the changes only apply to those renting their homes from private landlords or housing associations, the Welsh Government is working with local authorities to ensure their tenants benefit from the same protection.
Work is also underway to ensure tenants are supported to repay any rent arrears that have occurred due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“While these changes offer greater protection to tenants, they are not an excuse for people not to pay their rent if they are able to, and address any financial problems they are experiencing,” said James.
“Having an early conversation with landlords to work out a way forward is vital, as is getting the right debt advice. We have recently invested an extra £1.4m in advice services to ensure people have the help they need to build financial capability and to claim the benefits they are entitled to.”