Six-month notice periods extended in Wales and why landlords should act now.

By Elaine Gunning

Welsh Landlords – the requirement for Landlords to provide 6 months notice to occupants who are protected tenants, statutory tenants, secure tenants, assured tenants, assured shorthold tenants, introductory tenants, and demoted tenants (except where those notices relate to anti-social behavior or domestic violence) is EXTENDED once more to 24 March 2022.

This extension is NOT applicable to English Landlords.

We are sure that a renewed extension period will be both heart-breaking and frustrating for many Landlords across Wales. However, Landlords do not have to wait until 24 March 2022 to take positive legal action.

Landlords should seriously consider serving their tenants with either an s21 notice or an s8 notice. Actual receipt of the notice correctly drafted and served with an appropriate letter from your solicitor could provide the catalyst for tenants leaving the property without the necessity and expense of issuing court proceedings.

An extension to the notice period for eviction is not a waiver of the tenant’s contractual responsibilities to pay the rent.

Landlords are reminded that there is no defence (provided the s21 notice is correctly drafted) to obtaining possession of a property should possession proceedings be initiated. Furthermore, the tenant could be responsible for the legal costs of the Landlord.

If Landlords rely on a s8 notice served on their tenants as a first step initiating possession proceedings, the tenant will not only be ordered to leave the property but also be held responsible for all outstanding rent arrears and legal costs.

Government Support

To help prevent people from getting into financial hardship, there has been an increase in the local housing allowance (LHA) as of April 2020 to the 30th percentile of local market rents.

For 2021-22 the Government has made available £140 million in Discretionary Housing Payments funding for local authorities in England and Wales to distribute to help support vulnerable people with housing costs.

In Wales, there is a Tenancy Hardship Grant. The tenant must have experienced financial hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic and have been unable to pay their rent. (Previous blog on the website).

Here at MLS, we are regularly instructed by Landlords to advise on compliance and possession claims. If you have any questions please contact us on 01244 478730 and we will be happy to help.

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This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you require assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

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