Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James is today launching a consultation about extending the minimum notice period that landlords must give under the Renting Homes Act when seeking possession where there has been no breach of contract, from 2 months to 6 months.
The proposed changes would mean amending the Renting Homes Act before it comes into force.
The following proposals are under consultation for contracts with no end date:
- to extend the minimum notice period when seeking possession without a breach of contract from 2 months to 6 months
- to restrict a landlord from serving a notice to seek possession without a breach of contract within the first 6 months of a contract; and
- to place a 6 month restriction on issuing such a notice following the expiry of a previous notice.
Other proposals include:
- restrictions to the ability to regain possession on landlords who the courts have found to have attempted to carry out a retaliatory eviction; and
- restrictions on issuing possession notices to landlords in breach of other laws related to housing, such as not having a valid Energy Performance Certificate or gas safety certificate.
Julie James said:
The act provides a new, streamlined and reformed basis for residential letting in Wales, providing significant benefits for anyone who rents their home. However, we can do more to address the concerns many people have around ‘no fault evictions’.
These proposals would give tenants more peace of mind about their contracts, but also recognise that there are legitimate reasons why a landlord may need possession of their property; it’s important that we get this balance right.
The act already recognises there will be occasions when someone hasn’t been paying their rent, or breaches their contract in other ways. Our proposals do not change this, but mean a landlord will need to use the most appropriate route when seeking to take possession, rather than relying on a ‘no fault’ notice.
Thanks to the Renting Homes Act, it will also be easier for a landlord to repossess an abandoned property without a court order. This will enable these empty properties to be re-let as quickly as possible.
Good quality renting is a vital part of addressing the housing challenges we face in Wales. I’m optimistic that we can overcome the final barriers to implementing the Renting Homes Act and that tenants will feel all the benefits of the changes before the end of this Assembly term.