Landlords in Wales have been told that rules giving tenants six months’ notice to vacate a property will remain in place until the end of this year.
The extended notice period was set up amid the pandemic and was due to end initially in June and then this month.
The Welsh government has now extended rules to last until 31 December 2021.
A written statement from Minister for Climate Change Julie James said: “The purpose of this alteration is to ensure that during a time when case numbers and hospitalisations are increasing and the virus remains a serious threat to public health, landlords will continue to give increased notice to tenants before they can issue proceedings for possession.
“The effect will to be to delay evictions meaning that: fewer people will face eviction into homelessness at a time when this might exacerbate the spread of the virus and 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, including applying to the Tenancy Hardship Grant scheme, which I introduced in July.”
But Ben Beadle, chief executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, said the further extension will only worsen the ongoing rental arrears crisis.
He said: “Expecting landlords to carry the burden of extended notice periods is doomed to fail and the Welsh Government’s desire to continue kicking the can down the road is jeopardising the long-term future of many landlords’ businesses and in turn, the security of tenants who rely upon them.
“This announcement indicates that the Welsh Government lacks a coherent strategy to address the many issues affecting the private rented sector.
“The little publicised Tenancy Hardship Grant has helped less than half a dozen tenants and without a clear plan to exit emergency measures, the rent debt crisis will worsen, leaving many tenants with damaged credit scores, saddled with debt and local authorities unable to meet demand.”