Julie James, Minister for Housing and Local Government
I have today laid the Public Health (Protection from Eviction) (No.2) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 (‘the No.2 Regulations’). These regulations replicate in substance the Public Health (Protection from Eviction) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021, and will extend the current restrictions on evictions, which are due to expire on 31 March, to the end of June 2021 – although the restrictions will, as with other coronavirus restrictions, be subject to regular review during that time.
As with the current protection from eviction arrangements, the No.2 Regulations will be made using powers under section 45C of the Public Health (Control of Diseases) Act, and will prevent, except in specified circumstances, attendance at a dwelling-house for the purpose of executing a writ or warrant of possession, executing a writ or warrant of restitution, or delivering a notice of eviction.
It is also my intention for Regulations to be made separately to extend until the end of June 2021 the application of the requirements set out in Schedule 29 to the Coronavirus Act 2020. This means that landlords will remain under a statutory obligation to provide a six-month notice period to tenants before making a possession claim (except in relation to anti-social behaviour and domestic violence).
Taken together, these two sets of Regulations will support the Welsh Government’s continuing public health response to coronavirus by helping to reduce the number of people evicted, or at risk of being evicted, into homelessness, and particularly street homelessness, where their potential vulnerability to the virus, and the likelihood of them spreading it, is increased. This will be particularly important in the context of new variants of the virus increasing its transmissibility or the severity of its impact, or a potential third wave or local spikes occurring during the period where restrictions are being relaxed.
The Welsh Government recognises that extending these temporary protections for a further period of time may cause difficulties for some landlords in the private rented sector. However, our overriding priority must be the protection of public health at this time.
Throughout the period they are in force, the No.2 Regulations will be subject to the ongoing review cycle to ensure that the arrangements remain proportionate and necessary. These reviews will be aligned with the review timings in the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020.
A Plenary debate on the No.2 Regulations has been scheduled for 24 March 2021, and the regulations and accompanying Explanatory Memorandum are available on the Senedd website:
- The Public Health (Protection from Eviction) (No. 2) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021
- Explanatory Memorandum to the Public Health (Protection from Eviction) (No.2) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021
 The specified circumstances are where the court is satisfied that: the claim is against trespassers who are persons unknown; or where the order for possession was made wholly or partly on the grounds of anti-social behaviour, serious offences, nuisance, domestic violence; or, in cases where the person attending is satisfied that the dwelling-house is unoccupied at the time of attendance, and the possession order was made wholly or partly on the grounds of the death of the occupant.