Industry News Sam Hunter 18/06/2021

Welsh Government must take steps to resolve mounting rent arrears crisis

Yesterday, the Welsh Government used its emergency Coronavirus powers to delay by three months the end of its legal requirement for landlords to give six months’ notice before they initiate eviction proceedings.

This contrasts with the UK Government’s actions in England where a staggered approach back to pre-pandemic lengths by the autumn has been put in place. The Welsh Government have also not ruled out extending the regulations imposing a ban on possession enforcement in Wales beyond the current end date of 30 June.

The NRLA Wales had sent the Minister its own suggested roadmap out of PRS Covid-measures last month, and we urge the Welsh Government to take on board the recommendations we have proposed.

In response to this announcement Ben Beadle, Chief Executive, NRLA said:

“This announcement reinforces the urgent need for the Welsh Government to take rapid action to address the mounting rent arrears crisis unfolding across Wales. The expansion of long notice periods will only worsen this and prolong uncertainty for all involved.

“Landlords in Wales cannot continue to wait an average of 15 months to regain repossession whilst trying to deal with non-payment and anti-social behaviour making lives miserable. The Welsh Government must end the emergency pandemic measures as soon as possible if these businesses are to survive.

“With arrears continuing to mount, the Welsh Government must review the workings of the tenancy saver loan scheme to ensure more tenants can access funding by widening the eligibility criteria.

“A failure to proactively address the rent debt crisis will mean devastating long-term consequences for the individuals concerned and their credit scores – and preclude renters from accessing private sector properties for years to come, placing huge strain on local authorities to house people”.