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Minimum 12-month contracts set to be introduced in Wales by default

New rules could effectively see the introduction of 12-month minimum tenancy contracts as standard in Wales.

Welsh housing minister Julie James AM (Assembly Member) has announced plans to extend the Section 173 notice period from two to six months, meaning it will be a year in total before a landlord is able to evict tenants.

Under Section 173 of the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, the Welsh equivalent of Section 21, private landlords are not permitted to repossess properties during the first six months of the tenancy.


The Welsh government will now consult on whether to increase the minimum notice period of Section 173 from two months to six months, and on plans to restrict issuing of a Section 173 for six months after the start of the contract.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) described the government’s planned changes to Section 173 as ‘scandalous’ given that it is not planning such changes without first reforming possession routes for the vast majority of landlords who have legitimate reasons to repossess their property.

RLA vice chair and director for Wales, Douglas Haig, said: “This is scandalous move that is essentially introducing 12-month contracts by default.

“Creating a situation where a property cannot be repossessed within the first six months and then introducing a further six-month notice period could cause huge problems for landlords.

“They will be left powerless when it comes to problem tenants, who will be legally allowed to stay in the property for a year. If tenants are not paying rent, huge arrears could build up in this time.

“We will be warning government that this move could cause serious damage to landlord confidence and the availability of homes to rent in Wales, at a time when demand continues to increase.

“The government needs to ensure that landlords with a genuine need to regain possession of their properties are able to do so.”

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Poll: Do you agree that the government’s planned changes to Section 173 are ‘scandalous’?


  • icon

    Whether its England , Scotland or Wales its clear they are out to clobber us. They are determinant to remove the little bit that's left of S21. OK then why not give us the same rights as lenders they don't need S21, if they don't pay or commit any breaches the lender is not happy about they are out in a flash for sure and no doubt about it, and get possession of the property. I understand that its their money so whats good for the goose is good for the gander, why not give us the same rights and then we don't need s21. when we have property that we bought & paid for, then its our property or put another way its our money so we should be guaranteed the same right as the lenders, its our money that's tied up in it just like the lenders money tied up in it. I can't see any difference unless we are not equal under the law of the land. Please enlighten me ?.

  • icon
    • 09 July 2019 22:06 PM

    I personally would have no real issue with this 6 month notice period.
    No real issue with S21 being abolished with two exceptions.
    So S21 to be retained in rent defaulting cases ONLY.
    That would IMMEDIATELY remove the propaganda that S21 was non-fault as it could ONLY be used in rent default cases.
    I would enhance the S21 process such that NO Court action was required and that rent defaulting tenants could be removed by the LL after 1 month and one day which would be 2 months rent arrears if paid monthly in advance.
    I would let the Welsh have their 6 month notice period EXCEPT in rent arrears cases when a S21 would be permitted to be used the day after the 1st day of the second month.
    Police would be used instead of bailiffs which would no longer be required.
    Rent defaulting shouldn't require ANY Court action at all and Police should be used to remove tenants to prevent a breach of the peace if the tenants refuse to comply with the LL requirement that they vacate.
    I would allow the S21 to be stopped if the rent arrears were reduced to 1 month of arrears on the second day of the second month.
    This would give the tenant another 28 days to find the money before a second month of rent arrears occurred and eviction could occur again.
    Most LL want the ability to ultimately recover their property.
    Waiting a few more months doesn't really make much difference.
    The ONLY situation where LL must absolutely have an effective immediate repossession is when rent default occurs.
    Tenants who rent default should be able to be removed without Court action after 2 month's of rent arrears.
    So at least everyone would know that any tenant defaulting on rent could be booted out the day after the 2nd month of rent arrears.
    The vast majority of the public would consider it perfectly acceptable that a rent defaulting tenant could be removed immediately after 2 month's of rent default.
    In practice few LL would exercise that right.
    Most LL would attempt to work with rent defaulting tenants to recover their circumstances so that the LL did not need to remove them.
    Having the 1 month and 1 day deadline would wonderfully concentrate the minds of Councils.
    No more wait until the bailiffs turn up!!
    Rent defaulting tenants are the biggest concern of LL.
    It cannot be right that tenants are legally allowed to remain rent free in a property until legally evicted which could be many months.
    Of course none of this will happen.
    S21 will be abolished and S8 will not be fit for purpose as it won't be amended effectively.
    This will result in more LL selling up.
    The PRS is now in slow decline.
    Just not sure how much the decline will go.

  • icon

    Give us a quick, cheap, easy way of evicting non payers and we won't need section 21

  • Suzanne Morgan

    There is so much common sense from contributors here. What i a shame that it cannot be garnered by those who make the decisions which not only affect LL but ultimately tenants. It is not rocket science.


    Yes, the barmy (Welsh) army are at it again, interfering in our lives in any way they can and not for the better.
    I could see all this coming in Wales and that is why I voted against the WAG.
    Tony B Liar was the champion of devolution for Wales, because he knew that the socialists would be kept in power for ever.
    We now have the Corbyn sympathiser, comrade Drakeford instilled as leader.
    The latest announcement from the asylum in Cardiff is that all uniforms worn in Welsh schools should now conform to 'gender neutral' specification.
    Everything is going to plan for the politburo in the WUSSR.


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