Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 currently gives landlords in England and Wales the right to serve a notice on their tenant giving them 2 months’ notice to leave the property. Tenants must have been in occupation for four months before a landlord can serve this notice on the tenant.
Section 173 of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (“the Act”) (which only applies to Wales) will replace section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and will apply to the new periodic standard occupation contracts which are to replace assured shorthold tenancies when the Act comes into force.
Additional provisions have been inserted at section 186 of the Act to further protect tenants. For example, a tenant cannot be required to give up possession before the fixed term has ended, or within six months of the date the tenant was entitled to occupy the property. Despite this further protection, the Welsh Government are nervous that a 2-month notice period does not do enough to give tenants security of tenure.
More and more people are going into rented property and the Welsh Government are trying to strike a balance between giving tenants greater security and protecting the rights of landlords to be able to regain their property should they need to do so.
The Welsh Government has launched a consultation and are seeking views on the following:
- Extending the minimum notice period for a no-fault eviction notice from 2 months to 6 months; and
- Increasing the period at the beginning of a contract during which a landlord cannot give notice from 4 months to 6 months.
The Welsh Government previously announced that they would launch a consultation to abolish no-fault eviction notices, but this latest consultation seems to suggest that they will not be pursuing this and so will carry on as they are until the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 comes into force.
The consultation document can be found here. Responses are welcome from letting agents, landlords and tenants (contract-holders).
The consultation closes on 05 September 2019. You can either respond online, by email, or by post.