The National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) is urging the Welsh Government to reconsider its newly announced six-month notice period for possession, to save the private rented sector from further damage.
Landlords in Wales were dealt the blow of having to wait for up to 18 months to evict tenants after the region’s assembly voted last month to increase the minimum notice period for tenancies from three months to half a year.
The proposal aims to give tenants more time to get ready to leave a property after a landlord has decided to take possession and end a tenancy and will run until 30th September.
The NRLA has now sent an open letter to Julie James, Minister for Housing and Local Government, voicing fears that some of the hardest hit landlords in Wales could decide to quit the sector as a result.
Chief executive Ben Beadle says the minister’s action appears to suggest the misplaced view that landlords are immune, or at least well insulated, from the far-reaching effects that Covid-19 has had.
He points out that there are no direct financial measures to help landlords carry the burden brought about by the decision.
Says Beadle: “Locking a non-paying tenant into a failing tenancy with a six-month notice period simply ignores the problem and leaves landlords carrying the whole burden.
“It also leaves communities suffering from the abuse of anti-social tenants who cannot be removed.”
The NRLA is calling for a low-cost – or interest free – tenant loan scheme for Covid-19 related arrears, where payment is made to the landlord, to help maintain tenancies and remove the threat of eviction.
It says the Welsh Government should also provide a mechanism for landlords to access grants, where renters are unwilling to engage or make an application themselves.