Residential landlords in Wales: What do the recent changes to Section 21 notices mean for you?
Sweeping changes to housing law in Wales affecting the rental sector came into force on 1 December 2022.
Under the new Renting Homes (Wales) Act, landlords will no longer be able to serve tenants with a two month ‘no fault’ Section 21 eviction notice.
Instead, they will now have to give tenants at least six months’ notice.
This is a potentially worrying development for landlords who, in these turbulent economic times, need to be confident that a property can be recovered quickly if their circumstances change or if the tenant has caused damage or stopped paying rent.
What do you need to know about the Renting Homes (Wales) Act?
The key changes include:
- Extending the amount of notice landlords must give from two to six months;
- Simplifying and standardising rental contracts with model contracts available;
- Automatically converting all shorthold tenancies to occupation contracts on 1 December with tenancy agreements becoming written statements;
- Setting the minimum length contract a tenant can be given at 12 months.
How might these legislative changes affect you?
This extension of the minimum notice period gives all tenants, including those who flout the law, a minimum of 12 months because ‘no fault’ notices can only be issued at the expiration of the first 6 months of the tenancy.
As a result, problematic scenarios including difficult tenants, upsetting neighbours, with a knock-on effect on surrounding properties, could drag on longer.
In addition, placing a six-month restriction on issuing a notice following the expiry of a previous notice ignores emergency situations where landlords may want to regain possession of a property at shorter notice.
What do landlords need to know now?
Although all assured shorthold tenancy agreements become occupation contracts automatically on 1 December 2022, you will still need to act to give your tenant a written statement before 1 June 2023.
If a tenant starts renting a property from you on or after 1 December 2023, you’ll need to give them their written statement within 14 days. Not doing so could affect your ability to serve a ‘no fault’ eviction notice.
If you want to evict a tenant using a ‘no fault’ notice, you will have to wait until six months after the tenant moved in.
Get in touch
If you are a landlord and need help with this evolving area of the law, or more detail on other changes under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act which might affect you, please contact Solicitor Associate, Richard Darbinian, highly experienced in resolving landlord and tenant disputes.
Email Richard: Richard.Darbinian@wards.uk.com
Call Richard: 0117 9292811