The Welsh government has called a ‘winter truce’ by announcing a blanket ban on evictions until 11th January to protect public health and support tenants.

Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James says that renters shouldn’t be forced out of their homes at a time when there will be less access to advice, support and alternative accommodation.

She explains: “We also know that people who are homeless are at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus. One of the best ways of tackling homelessness is to prevent it happening to begin with and this is just one of the steps we are taking as many people face uncertainty.”

The Welsh Tenancy Saver Loan Scheme is also giving private sector tenants who are in rent arrears the chance to apply for low cost loans paid directly to the landlord at 1% APR. “This is helping many people living in private rented accommodation to access the support they need,” adds James. 

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The National Residential Landlords Association says it encourages landlords across Wales to signpost their tenants’ saver loans if they are in rent arrears to sustain tenancies where possible.

Calum Davies (pictured), Welsh policy and public affairs officer at the National Residential Landlords Association, says the move gives greater certainty to everyone as the guidance originally given to bailiffs was advisory rather than compulsory.

He adds: “The exemptions to the ‘truce’ are different in England where those who built up at least nine months’ of rent arrears before the pandemic and tenants who have provided fraudulent statements can still have action taken against them.”

julie james ms wales

The Welsh Tenancy Saver Loan Scheme is also giving private sector tenants who are in rent arrears the chance to apply for low cost loans paid directly to the landlord at 1% APR. “This is helping many people living in private rented accommodation to access the support they need,” adds James (pictured). 

Meanwhile, the Welsh Government plans to crack on with its Renting Homes (Amendment) Bill which should see a new regime for the private rented sector in place on 1stApril 2021. The proposed legislation will extend the minimum notice period a tenant must be given from two to six months.

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