There are changes to evictions following Covid-19. Are you a landlord, do you have tenants who are in rent arrears? In this current climate you are not the only property owner in this position, but did you know about the changes that have been made regarding the notice periods required for evictions?
Due to the financial situation affecting everyone as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, new regulations have been made under Schedule 29 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 that temporarily extend the minimum notice periods landlords must give to tenants with assured and assured shorthold tenancies. A six month notice period will apply to notices issued on or after 24 July 2020 under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988, except those that specify grounds 7A or 14 (relating to anti-social behaviour) and a 3 month notice period will continue to apply to notices that specify grounds 7A or 14. A six month notice period will apply to notices issued on or after 24 July 2020 under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
Schedule 29 is temporarily amended so that a landlord serving a notice on or after 24 July will be required to provide extended notice during the remainder of the relevant period, which currently ends on 30 September 2020. The relevant period may be extended by the Welsh Government beyond 30 September 2020 using the powers given to them.
Why are the changes to evictions following Covid-19 being made?
The temporary change to notice periods for evictions following Covid-19 is being made in order to further delay evictions during the ongoing pandemic. It will mean that 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.
What support is available to landlords?
The Welsh Government has produced comprehensive guidance for both tenants and landlords who may be facing difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. This can be found here: https://gov.wales/housing-coronavirus.
If your tenant has indicated that they are facing difficulties paying their rent, or are currently in rent arrears, you should make contact with them as soon as possible to discuss their concerns and whether an interim solution could be provided to support them, for example, a rent repayment holiday, or rent reduction, if feasible.
What if I have already issued a notice?
The changes affect notices for evictions following Covid-19 issued to tenants on or after 24 July.
Can I expect further changes?
The Welsh Government has pledged to continuously review the effectiveness of the measures put in place to respond to the pandemic and where further action needs to be taken relevant updates and information will be issued.
If you are a Landlord and currently manage your properties on your own, you may be feeling that these changes create a level of management you do not have the time or inclination to deal with at this time. If this is the case, please get in touch with the letting department at Mallard Estate Agents, our team offers a dedicated property management service for those who let properties throughout South West Wales. <<here>>, we would be happy to discuss how we can help.