Coronavirus: Six month notice for evictions extended to March

A row of terraced houses in Cardiff

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The rules on tenancies were brought in because of the pandemic

Rules meaning landlords in Wales cannot give less than six months notice for evictions will stay in place until at least 31 March 2021.

The Welsh Government has extended the rules which were due to expire at the end of September.

Housing minister Julie James said the changes are “not an excuse for people not to pay their rent”.

Welsh Conservative housing spokesman Mark Isherwood called for protection for landlords as well as tenants.

It means renters in Wales will now get similar protection to those in England, where the need for a six-month notice period in most cases will stay in force until March.

The Welsh Government has used coronavirus powers to lengthen the minimum term that landlords must give for evictions to six months.

Before lockdown, the minimum period was two months, which was initially extended to three months before being changed to six months in July.

A Senedd committee warned that the way the law had been made risked breaching landlords’ human rights.

Separately the UK government has banned eviction proceedings in the courts until 20 September.

“The coronavirus pandemic is continuing to have a significant impact on daily life and is still posing major challenges for all of us,” Ms James told the Senedd on Tuesday.

“I have therefore acted to give additional protection to renters by extending the current six month notice periods for eviction, other than the notice periods for possession grounds relating to anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse which will revert to the pre-Covid position.”

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Getty Images

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Landlords need to give tenants six months’ notice in Wales

Mark Isherwood asked Ms James if she recognised the need to protect “both tenants and landlords”, citing the case of a landlord whose tenants were four months in arrears, leaving him with no income.

Ms James said: “The thing about private sector landlords is of course it’s an income for them, but the house is somebody’s home.

“It’s where they say ‘I’m going home’, and they mean that person’s business proposition, but for them it’s a home, and that’s the most important thing.”

The Welsh Government said that eviction proceedings will not take place for properties in areas affected by local lockdowns, and there will be a pause on eviction proceedings over Christmas.

Ministers were planning to make the minimum six-month notice period permanent before the pandemic, using legislation that has been tabled in the Senedd but not yet passed.

BBC News