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Evictions in Wales FAQs

This information only applies in Wales.

The Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 (‘the Act’) has changed the process for evicting contract holders in Wales from 1 December 2022. Depending on the specific circumstances of your situation, you will need to follow different procedures and give different notice periods. This guide contains some frequently asked contract holder eviction questions. Read on to find out the answers to your questions.

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Which notice you need to end a standard occupation contract will depend on whether the contract is periodic or fixed-term and why you want to evict the contract holder. Under the Act, you can evict a contract holder:

  • by serving a notice under section 188 or 182 of the Act, if the contract holder is in serious rent arrears (for periodic and fixed-term contracts alike)

  • by serving notice under section 159 of the Act for breach of contract (for periodic and fixed-term contracts alike)

  • under estate management grounds (for periodic and fixed-term contracts alike)

  • using a ‘no fault’ eviction notice (for periodic contracts only)

For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

Use Rocket Lawyer’s Eviction notice to make your document.

This depends on how often the rent is paid. For a landlord to be able to evict a contract holder for serious rent arrears at least:

  • 8 weeks’ rent must be unpaid if the rent is paid weekly, fortnightly or 4-weekly

  • 2 months’ rent must be unpaid if the rent is paid monthly

  • one quarter’s rent must be 3 months in arrears if the rent is paid quarterly

  • 25% of the rent must be 3 months in arrears if the rent is paid yearly

Contract holders being evicted for serious rent arrears typically need to be given at least 14 days’ notice before repossession proceedings are started in court. For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

A breach of contract occurs if a contract holder breaks a term of their occupation contract, for example, if the contract holder breaks any restrictive covenants. To evict somebody because of this, the landlord must serve notice on the contract holder: 

  • informing them of their intention to claim possession of the property because of a breach of contract, and 

  • giving them 1 month to resolve the issue

If, after one month, the contract holder has not rectified the situation, the landlord can apply to the court for a possession order. In deciding whether to grant such an order, the court will consider the specifics of the situation and decide whether it is reasonable to do so. For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

While displaying antisocial behaviour is a type of breach of contract, special eviction rules apply.

Under the Act, all occupation contracts must include a term on antisocial behaviour. Antisocial behaviour (and other prohibited conduct) may include: 

  • excessive noise 

  • physical assault

  • verbal abuse 

  • domestic abuse 

If the contract holder engages in antisocial behaviour (or other prohibited behaviour), the landlord can a possession notice on the contract holder and apply to the court for a possession order on the same day. The court will consider the specifics of the situation and decide whether it is reasonable to grant a possession order on this ground. 

Note that contract holders can be held responsible for the behaviours of anyone who lives in or visits the property. For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

No-fault eviction is the process of regaining possession of property in Wales where the contract holder is not at fault. In other words, when the contract holder has not broken the terms of their contract (eg through anti-social behaviour or serious rent arrears). No-fault eviction notices tend to be used where the landlord wants to repossess the property for a reason that’s not covered by any of the other eviction options. For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales. Use Rocket Lawyer’s Section 173 eviction notice to evict a contract holder on a periodic standard contract.

Under Section 173 of the Act, a landlord can typically issue a no-fault eviction notice if: 

  • they give the contract holder at least 6 months’ notice

  • they don’t serve the notice within the first 6 months of the contract holders’ occupation of the dwelling, and 

  • they have not breached any of their legal obligations as a landlord

For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

Under Section 186 of the Act, landlords can end contracts within a certain category (set out in Schedule 9B) by giving less notice than for standard occupation contracts. This category includes, for example, contracts: 

  • that would not be occupation contracts but for notice given by the landlord that they are to be one (eg a lodger agreement or holiday let)

  • for service accommodation (ie accommodation that employees must live as a requirement of their job)

  • for supported accommodation

For these types of contract, landlords can end the contract on or after the end of the fixed term by giving at least 2 months’ notice that the contract is to come to an end. Notice should be served before or on the last day of the fixed term. For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

On 1 December 2022, most existing tenancies and licences automatically converted into occupation contracts. While most occupation contracts should be ended in accordance with the new eviction processes, this is not the case for converted periodic contracts entered into before 1 December 2022

For such converted periodic contracts, landlords should follow the section 173 no-fault eviction process. However, instead of 6 months’ notice, they only need to provide contract holders with 2 months’ notice.

Note that this is not the case for converted fixed-term contracts that automatically become periodic contracts at the end of their fixed term (ie after 1 December). For such contracts, the 6-month no-fault notice period must be used.

On 1 December 2022, most existing tenancies and licences automatically converted into occupation contracts. While most occupation contracts should be ended in accordance with the new eviction processes, this is not the case for all converted fixed-term contracts entered into before 1 December 2022

Special rules apply to converted fixed-term contracts, which were fixed-term tenancies/licences before 1 December 2022, that cannot be ended using section 186 of the Act. These can be ended after the first 6 months of the contract if:

  • at least 2 months’ notice is given

  • the notice ends on or after the last day of the fixed term, and

  • the notice is served on or before the last day of the fixed term

Even though most existing contracts converted to occupation contracts on 1 December 2022, possession proceedings issued under the old section 21 eviction system before 1 December 2022 can continue. For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

Secure occupation contracts provide contract holders with stronger rights (including greater protection from eviction). As a result, they can only be brought to an end by the landlord:

  • if the contract holder breached the contract

  • under estate management grounds

For more information, read Repossessing property in Wales.

If a contract holder doesn’t move out after the notice period has expired, the landlord can apply to the courts for an order of possession. The landlord cannot lawfully repossess the property (eg by entering and changing the locks) before an order for possession is obtained. For more information on the court order repossession process, see the Government's website.

Generally speaking, contract holders can end their contract early if:

  • the contract contains a contract holder’s break clause allowing them to leave early (contract holders must give at least 4 weeks’ notice under a break clause)

  • the landlord agrees to them leaving early (known as a ‘surrender’), or

  • the contract holder/landlord finds a replacement tenant 

Contract holders remain liable for their obligations under their contract (eg rent payments) until they legitimately leave the property (eg in accordance with a properly executed break clause).

For more information, read Ending your tenancy early.

Before taking possession of the property, landlords need to ensure that the tenant has actually abandoned the property. It could be that the contract holder is on a long holiday, in the hospital or undergoing a short prison sentence. Under occupation contracts, contract holders should typically notify their landlord if they are away from the property for more than 28 days

To gain possession of property believed to be abandoned, landlords must give the contract holder 4 weeks’ notice outlining: 

  • that they believe the property to be abandoned, and 

  • that they intend to take possession if the contract holder does not respond within the 4-week period

If, after the 4 weeks, the landlord reasonably believes that the property has been abandoned (ie because all appropriate investigations have been made and the contract holder has not responded), they may enter the property and take possession. For more information, read Tenant abandonment.

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