The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Assured Tenancies and Assured Shorthold Tenancies, Extension of Notice Periods) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2020 commences 24 July 2020 and amends the Coronavirus Act 2020 which in turn amends the Housing Act 1988 for Wales only.
What this means exactly is that the notice period that landlords must provide to end an Assured Shorthold Tenancies has been temporarily increased from three months to six months. This was a decision made suddenly on the 24th July 2020 and was passed by Welsh Government overnight. Both Section 21 and Section 8 notices are effected, with the exception of grounds 7a and 14, for Section 8. The regulations apply to all notices given on or after the 24th July and applied to all notices serviced until 30th September 2020. The Coronavirus Act has resulted in The Senedd being able to alter the notice period.
The Coronavirus Act, meant that the length of notice landlords had to provide to end a tenancy was three months, however if your landlord serves you notice after the 24th July, you now have six months before you need to vacate the property.
The Housing Minister for Wales, Julie James, states that these changes are down to, ‘The ongoing public health emergency, with fewer people facing eviction into homelessness at a time when local authorities are less able to respond to these situations.’
Those who are renting will benefit from increased security and reduced anxiety; and individuals at risk of eviction will be provided with increased time to seek support to resolve any problems.
This means that if you are looking to regain possession of your property, for any reason other than anti-social behaviour or a criminal conviction received by the tenant, you must serve the notice in line with the new (temporary) legislation and must wait until the six months notice expires.
The six month notice period is until the 30th September 2020 which is when this part of the Coronavirus Act is set to end. However, this date can be extended at any time by the Welsh Government if necessary.
The new rules will last at least until 30 September 2020 when the relevant part of the Coronavirus Act is set to end. But, this date can be extended by the Welsh Government.
Landlords are calling on the Welsh Government to rethink the decision to extend notice periods for possession to six months and the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has sent an open letter to Wales’ Minister for Housing & Local Government asking them to reconsider.
You can read the NRLA’s response including their open letter to the welsh government can be found here: https://www.nrla.org.uk/news/welsh-possession-laws-draconian-say-landlords