Changes to the Section 21 Legislation

The Welsh Government has recently announced that there are due to be big changes to rules of issuing a Section 21 Notice to Tenants. These changes are likely come into effect in Spring 2021.  

The Housing Minister suggests that these changes will “provide valuable time for individuals and families… to find a new home that is right for them and make all necessary arrangements for a smooth transition”.

Section 21 notices explained heading image

What are the changes?

Currently, Landlords can issue the Section 21 Notice at any point during a tenancy, to give the tenant a minimum of 2 months’ notice to leave the property, after the initial 6 months. If the tenants are on a fixed term tenancy, notice cannot be issued to end the tenancy before the end of the fixed term.

The new rules will see this minimum notice period increasing to 6 months, with Landlords not being able to issue the Section 21 until the tenant has been residing at the property for 6 months. The effect of this is to increase minimum tenancies from 6 months to 12.

How does this impact Landlords?

The changes to this legislation will ultimately mean that Landlords are unable to re-possess their house for a minimum of 12 months, as you can’t issue notice for 6 months and then have to give 6 months-notice to the tenants.

For 12 month tenancies, typical for students and professionals, the period can increase to 18 months as you cannot give notice before the end of the fixed term. This does run the risk of Landlords and their agents not being able to rent the property in advance to the property becoming available.

To explain, see the typical scenario below:

Should I be worried?

Personally, we don’t think Landlords need to lose any sleep over this.

In our 20 years of business, CPS Homes has never had to go to court to rely on the service of a Section 21 notice in order to regain possession of a property. In our experience, if a tenant has signed a tenancy agreement with a fixed end date, they will leave on or before this date. What there’s no getting away from, however, is that tenants on rolling, periodic tenancies must now be given six months’ notice to leave as opposed to two, which could prove problematic for landlords.

The changes will still allow Landlords to evict tenants sooner if they have broken the clauses of their Tenancy Agreement, such as being in rent arrears, by issuing the Section 8 Notice to tenants. 

04 March 2020


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