Welsh bid to delay evictions may cause more problems

Landlords will be left out of pocket due to being blindsided by extended eviction rules supported by the Welsh Government, Propertymark warns.

Coronavirus Act 2020

The Coronavirus Act 2020 provides Welsh Ministers with powers to specifically aid them with managing transmission of COVID-19.

Due to the virus, the Welsh Government has once again extended changes to evictions rules due to the pandemic. Julie James, who is Minister for Climate Change but also responsible for housing in Wales, has pushed for the current six months' notice period to apply until 31 December 2021. 

In a written statement, the Minister has highlighted increasing case numbers and hospitalisations as the reason behind the extended evictions notice periods. 

Tenancy Hardship Grant

Tenants who are struggling to fulfil their requirements financially have been urged to apply to the Tenancy Hardship Grant, also introduced by MS James during July 2021, which may potentially help cover costs. 

The current narrative does not consider that many landlords are also in financial difficulty and there are fears that many landlords may also see themselves in financial difficulty as a result. 

The extensions do not seem to be based on any empirical data, and those who have taken a pragmatic approach at the beginning of the pandemic by budgeting for certain losses are now finding themselves blindsided. 

Many agents are reporting a loss of stock, but demand is growing; to provide homes for the 207,700 households who rely on the private rented sector, it’s important that its contribution is recognised and that the demonisation of letting agents and landlords stops. 

Daryl McIntosh Policy Manager | Propertymark