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How to make a Serious rent arrears eviction notice for Wales

For use in Wales only.

Use a serious rent arrears eviction notice to end a fixed term or periodic standard occupation contract in Wales because the contract holder is in serious rent arrears.

Last updated 15 November 2022.

A serious rent arrears eviction notice is the formal communication that landlords can send to contract holders to inform them that they intend to make a possession claim through the courts to end their occupation contract and repossess the dwelling (ie property) that they’ve rented to them.

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (‘the Act’) allows landlords to make a court claim for possession of their dwelling if the contract holders are in serious rent arrears. They’re required to serve a notice to the contract holders before starting their claim.

Use this serious rent arrears eviction notice: 

  • if you want to end a fixed-term or a periodic standard occupation contract

  • when the contract holder is in serious rent arrears

  • for dwellings rented to private residential contract holders in Wales

This serious rent arrears eviction notice template covers:

  • identifying the landlord(s), contract holder(s), and dwelling (ie property)

  • explaining to the contract holder: 

    • the legal basis for the landlord’s eviction notice (including why they’re considered to be in serious rent arrears) and their intentions to repossess the dwelling

    • what their rights are and where they can seek advice on their situation

  • signing provisions, including an option to sign via an agent

A contract holder is in rent arrears if they have not paid their rent on time. The Act sets out specific rules based on a contract holder’s rental period (ie how often they pay rent) for determining when arrears is considered ‘serious’ for the purposes of eviction. 

A contract holder is considered in serious rent arrears:

  • if rent is paid weekly, fortnightly, or four-weekly - when at least 8 weeks’ rent is unpaid

  • if rent is paid monthly - when at least 2 months’ rent is unpaid

  • if rent is paid quarterly - when at least one quarter’s rent is more than 3 months in arrears

  • if rent is paid annually - when at least 25% of the rent is more than 3 months in arrears

Requirements that an eviction notice for serious rent arrears must meet to be valid include: 

  • enough notice has been given (ie at least 14 days) before the possession claim is started

  • the notice is correctly served (see the Make it legal checklist for more information)

Also note that, if the contract holder doesn’t leave the dwelling by the end of the notice period and you decide to start a possession claim via the courts, the claim must be made within 6 months of the notice’s expiry date.

Landlords must always give at least 14 days’ notice to contract holders in a serious rent arrears eviction notice. 

It’s a good idea to give more notice to account for the time taken to serve (ie deliver) the notice, as the notice period starts when the contract holder receives the notice. For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

If the contract holder does not leave the dwelling by the date specified in the notice (whether you gave the minimum period required or longer), the landlord may start a claim in the courts to repossess the dwelling after the end date of the notice. 

The court is required to grant an order for possession if it’s satisfied that:

  • a valid notice (ie a serious rent arrears eviction notice) was served to the contract holder

  • the contract holder was in serious rent arrears on the date the landlord gave them notice and they are in serious rent arrears on the date on which the court hears the possession claim, and

  • no relevant human rights defences apply

You cannot evict a contract holder until an order for possession is obtained. The contract holder is legally required to leave the dwelling once an order is obtained. If they don’t, you can seek to enforce the order (eg using a bailiff). For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

Occupation contracts may have multiple landlords. This serious rent arrears eviction notice template allows you to provide the details of multiple individual landlords (eg if the dwelling is rented out by a couple who jointly owns it). All landlords should sign the notice. If there are multiple corporate landlords, Ask a lawyer for advice. 

Similarly, occupation contracts can also have multiple contract holders (known as joint contract holders). Your eviction notice should set out the names of all contract holders.

You should not use this eviction notice if your occupation contract is an introductory standard contract or a prohibited standard contract.

This notice also cannot be used for dwellings let in England or Scotland. If you have a tenant in serious rent arrears in England, you can use a Section 8 notice to start the eviction process. If you have a tenant in serious rent arrears in Scotland, Ask a lawyer for help making an eviction notice. 

If you have questions about how to make your serious rent arrears eviction notice, you can Ask a lawyer for assistance. Also consider asking for advice if:

  • you’re unsure what kind of occupation contract you have

  • you have an introductory standard contract or a prohibited standard contract

  • you are a community landlord

  • this eviction notice doesn’t meet your needs

  • you want to evict a tenant from a property outside of England and Wales

Other names for a Serious rent arrears eviction notice for Wales

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