Under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016, many things will change when it becomes fully introduced including the replacing of assured shorthold tenancies with “occupation contracts” or more specifically a “standard contract”. In addition, the section 21 notice will also be replaced with a “section 173 notice” under the Act.
This new notice, which will apply during any periodic part of the tenancy, will be very similar in that no reason will be required for its service. Furthermore, under section 174, the minimum notice period is set to be 2 months notice:
The date specified in a notice under section 173 may not be less than two months after the day on which the notice is given to the contract-holder.
No date has been announced for these changes to begin to take effect.
The Welsh Government has announced a consultation on changing this minimum notice period from 2 months to 6 months. In addition, the consultation will look at other aspects of this no-fault notice including:
- increasing the period at the beginning of a contract during which a landlord cannot give notice from 4 months to 6 months
- placing a 6-month restriction on issuing a notice following the expiry of a previous notice
In addition to the periodic notice (comparable to a section 21(4)(a) notice currently), there is also a provision in the Act for a notice which can be served during the fixed term (comparable to the current section 21(1)(b) notice).
The consultation will consider removing a landlord’s ability to end a fixed term standard contract (under section 186) and the use of break clauses in fixed term contracts.
Landlords and agents are urged to respond to the consultation with their views. It’s very important that individual responses are made because larger numbers of responses are essential in addition to landlord organisations replying as a representative body.
Responses must be made by 5 September 2019 which can be done here.
England has announced a consultation to ban the use of section 21 altogether. More information about that consultation can be found here.