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23 July, 2020 Open access

Welsh Government temporarily increases the notice period that landlords must give assured and assured shorthold tenants to end a tenancy from three months to six months

Use of powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020 will help those renting their homes to benefit from increased security and reduced anxiety, says Welsh Housing Minister

The Welsh Government has temporarily increased the notice period that landlords must give assured and assured shorthold tenants to end a tenancy from three months to six months.

In a written statement today on its use of powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Welsh Government says that section 81 and Schedule 29 to the Act delay when a landlord is able to evict a tenant but do not prevent them from serving a notice seeking possession, and that -

'... three months’ notice is required for notices served in respect of protected and statutory tenancies, secure tenancies, assured tenancies, assured shorthold tenancies, introductory tenancies and demoted tenancies.'

However, the Welsh Government goes on to highlight that paragraph 13(1) of Schedule 29 gives the Welsh Ministers the power to amend the Schedule to alter a reference to three months into a reference to six months, or a reference to any other specified period which is less than six months.

As a result, and in order to further delay evictions during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James announced today that -

'I can confirm that ... I have made Regulations under paragraph 13(1) of Schedule 29 to the 2020 Act. The Regulations temporarily increase from three months to six months the notice to end a tenancy that landlords must give assured tenants under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988 (but excluding notices specifying Grounds 7A and 14) and to assured shorthold tenants under section 21 of that same Act.

The purpose of these temporary alterations is to ensure landlords give increased notice to tenants facing eviction from rented properties before landlords can issue proceedings for possession. The effect will be ... 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 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.'

NB - the change is introduced by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Assured Tenancies and Assured Shorthold Tenancies, Extension of Notice Periods) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (SI.No.778/2020) that come into force from 24 July 2020.

For more information see Written Statement: Use of powers under the Coronavirus Act 2020 from gov.wales