PLAID Cymru leader Adam Price MS has accused the Welsh Government of not finishing the job of banning no-fault evictions and voiced his regret that the government has not followed up on their promise to ban no-fault evictions.
While the Welsh Government has extended the notice period to 6 months that landlords must give for no-fault evictions, the complete ban that was promised in Mark Drakeford’s conference address last year has not been delivered.
In addition, Mr Price called for an extension of the ban on all evictions, regardless of the tenant’s circumstances, until the pandemic is over.
Legislation to ban no-fault evictions has already been passed by the Scottish Government, and during the pandemic, they have also passed an emergency law to extend the number of notice landlords must give when ending a tenancy – this being 6 months.
Shelter Cymru estimates that 42% of private tenants do not have a fixed-term tenancy agreement, making them vulnerable to a ‘no-fault’ eviction. In addition, 40% of renters in Wales are estimated to be falling behind on their rent as a result of the latest recession. Shelter Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to extend the emergency legislation it has passed.
Mr Price said that “lockdown has highlighted the importance of safe and secure accommodation” and has expressed concern that the recession will leave more people in danger of falling behind on rent, and vulnerable to eviction.
The First Minister Mark Drakeford responded:
“The Welsh Government is committed to bringing legislation forward to the Senedd during the remainder of this Assembly term. It will deal with the worst outcrops of no-fault evictions and I remain committed to bringing forward further legislation if we’re in the position to do so in the next Senedd term, to complete that job.”
Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS, said:
“It is with some surprise and much disappointment to hear that the promise to ban no-fault evictions in the private rented sector will not be made good. Indeed Labour delegates voted in favour of such a ban and it formed part of the Labour party’s 5-point plan in May.
“Amidst another cruel recession, 40% of renters in Wales are estimated to be falling behind on their rent. Leaving people homeless at any time would be unforgivable but doing so in the middle of a global pandemic would be particularly pernicious.
“The Welsh Government has the opportunity now to legislate to end no-fault evictions altogether, and to extend the ban on evictions, regardless of the tenant’s circumstances, until the pandemic is over.
“I am disappointed to hear today that the Welsh Government are not going to finish the job.”