The Welsh government has followed England’s lead and announced its own evictions ban extension which, like England’s, was due to run out on Monday.
But the Welsh government has gone further, revealing that its extension will last until 31st March, housing minister Julie James (pictured, above) has confirmed.
This means until then bailiffs will not be able to execute court orders for both private and social housing tenants, except in cases of anti-social behaviour or domestic violence.
“This is an extremely difficult time for many people and renters should not be forced out of their homes, at a time when we are asking people to stay at home and when they will have less access to advice, support and alternative accommodation,” says James.
Pay the rent
But the minister has sided with landlords to a degree, underlining that the eviction ban extension should not be construed as “an excuse for people not to pay their rent if they are able to, and address any financial problems they are experiencing”, she said.
“Having an early conversation with landlords to work out a way forward is vital, as is getting the right debt advice.”
The extension of the notice period for evictions to six months in Wales will also remain in place until 31st March 2021. Both regulations will be kept under review and the suspension of evictions will be subject to a confirmatory vote in the Senedd.
Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA, says: “The pandemic has hit renters and landlords hard and we share the Welsh Government’s objective to ensure there is no rise in homelessness and that good tenants stay in their homes.
“Ensuring tenants have the financial support to stay in their homes is the best way to prevent repossession. However, in addition to antisocial behaviour, landlords must be able to take action against those with extreme arrears, especially those that predate Covid, and particularly where tenants are not availing themselves of the financial support available, or do not meet the criteria.”
Timothy Douglas, Policy & Campaigns Manager for Propertymark, says: “We remain concerned about rent arears and increasing household debt and landlords must not be left carrying an impossible financial burden,” says
“We will continue to work with the Welsh Government to ensure that the Tenant Saver Loan scheme is used wherever appropriate.”