Agents have come out fighting against a proposal being considered in one part of the UK to triple the time to remove a tenant via the eviction process from two to six months.
Under current legislation and the Rent Smart Wales system, landlords in the Principality must wait until six months have passed before they can serve notice through Section 21. However, if they serve an ‘unused’ notice at the start of the tenancy, they can move much more rapidly and evict a tenant with little delay.
However, new legislation proposed by the Labour-led Welsh Government means the ‘unused’ notice could not be served during the first six months of a tenancy - which in effect would mean tenants receive a guaranteed year in their home free from any possible eviction.
Welsh Government housing minister Julie James says this would "add further significant protections" for tenants, adding: "What we are trying to do is make sure good landlords are rewarded well and bad landlords are driven out of the market,"
The move has, unsurprisingly, been backed by Shelter and tenants’ groups.
But David Cox, the chief executive of ARLA Propertymark, says: “Extending notice periods from two months to six months under the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill will cause further shockwaves for landlords and agents.
“The proposals will make it even more difficult for landlords to reclaim possession of their property and add further longevity to an already lengthy and expensive eviction process.
“We are concerned that landlords will have no viable option of evicting problem tenants quickly and efficiently due to current court procedures.
“If landlords sell up due to the perceived risk, this will shrink the sector and contribute to landlords being more selective about who they let their property to.
“The Welsh Assembly must reconsider extending the minimum notice period and take a long-term, holistic view that supports those who are providing professional and well managed tenancies.”