PLAID Cymru has called for the Welsh Government to make a decision to extend the ban on evictions beyond 31 March 2021.
While a new law was passed in the Senedd on 23 February that provided more security to tenants, this doesn’t come into effect until ‘spring 2022.’ While the new law will ensure the minimum notice periods in the case of ‘no fault evictions’ must be extended from two to six months it is unclear what happens to private tenants in the interim – and indeed, what will happen after 31 March 2021 for all types of evictions.
Under current regulations (The Public Health (Protection from Eviction) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021), the ban on evictions, ban on bailiffs going to houses and the extended notice periods will all come to an end on 31 March 2021. These regulations were brought in on a temporary basis to prevent the risk of private tenants being made homeless during the pandemic.
The Welsh Government committed to review these regulations at least every three weeks, but at the last review point on Thursday 18 February, it was decided that no changes would be made. This means that these additional protections will draw to a close on 31 March 2021.
The next review point falls on Thursday 11 March, and with an announcement not expected until Friday 12 March, means that this will be the last review point before the end of March.
Welsh Government has previously indicated that coronavirus restrictions are unlikely to be lifted in any significant way until Easter at the earliest.
Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Minister for Housing, Delyth Jewell MS said,
“To delay announcing an extension to eviction protection is an assault on private tenants’ stability.
“In one breath, the Labour Welsh Government is at pains to tell us that restrictions are unlikely to be significantly changed until Easter, and yet in another, fails to extend security to private tenants, who fear being evicted in the middle of a pandemic.
“Every incremental postponement in a landlord’s ability to evict serves to prolong tenants’ anxiety, since they don’t have a long period of time in which they can feel settled in their homes.
“With only one more regulation review period before the end of March, Welsh Government’s last minute approach only increases the cloud hanging over these tenants.”