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Welsh possession laws “draconian” say landlords

Landlords are calling on the Welsh Government to rethink the decision to extend notice periods for possession to six months.

The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) has described the decision as ‘draconian’ and has sent an open letter to Wales’ Minister for Housing & Local Government asking them to reconsider.

The extension – which does not include possession claims which cite anti-social behaviour – was made under the Coronavirus Act 2020’s emergency powers.

The decision was announced on Thursday 23 July, just hours before coming into force.

The NRLA letter follows the Senedd’s Legislation, Justice, and Constitution Committee report which severely criticised the decision and the way the Welsh Government went about making it, without consultation.

The report, released on 3 August, reflects the NRLA’s concern that the new six-month notice settlement has been brought in too hastily, especially since the Government has until October before the pre-existing three-month temporary notice extension expires.

NRLA Chief Executive Ben Beadle, said: “Research carried out by NRLA since the beginning of this crisis has consistently shown that landlords and tenants have worked together constructively to sustain tenancies.

“We are calling on the government to reconsider its decision and develop a financial package to support landlords and tenants by offering interest free loans to allow tenants to cover their rent.

“Eviction is not the inevitable outcome of rent arrears, and the Welsh Government needs to work constructively with landlords who are already doing all they can to sustain tenancies.”