As we rapidly approach Autumn and seasonal events like Halloween and Bonfire Night, which will no doubt look a lot different than usual this year, landlords in Wales have been dealt a huge blow with the latest news that the new minimum term for evictions notice is now six months.
Essentially, the Welsh Government are continuing to side with tenants over landlords, citing that there is a greater importance to protect a person’s (the tenant’s) home, than there is to protect a person’s (the landlord’s) income.
We get the sentiment behind this, of course we do, but it is incredibly short sighted.
As we’ve said all along, without private landlords there will be a huge shortfall of affordable and safe housing in the long term.
Why would there be fewer landlords though?
Well, for the simple fact that landlords are being put off continuing against such difficult conditions.
How can anyone blame them?
It’s all been a one way street so far, with endless amounts of sympathy and understanding being expected from landlords, whilst in return they’ve been granted nothing but rolling extensions and endless uncertainty.
Welsh Housing minister Julie James tried to ease concerns by saying that the changes are "not an excuse for people not to pay their rent".
No, they’re not, but that doesn’t stop people exploiting the changes for their own benefit.
Her statement should say that the changes shouldn’t be an excuse, but that some tenants are clearly using them as an excuse, because that’s what has been happening!
Unfortunately, in Wales at least, that looks set to continue for another six months.
And then, who knows?
There will likely be landlords, by that point, who won’t have received any rent for a full year.
Just how sympathetic and understanding will they be then?
England is making smaller and less radical changes to its legislation for now, tentative extension by tentative extension, but as another devolved nation has taken such drastic measures, it mightn’t be long at all before we see the same changes applied across the whole of the UK.
We really feel for landlords right now.