FAMILIES in the private rented sector in Wales face losing their homes in less than two months without government action, according to Citizens Advice Cymru.

It is warning that, with Covid-19 protections coming to an end for renters on August 23, many households could face eviction and subsequent homelessness.

Citizens Advice Cymru is urging Welsh Government to put longer term protections in place before the pause on evictions ends.

The charity will give evidence to the Senedd showing renters are one of the groups least able to weather the economic shock of coronavirus.

Despite the pause on evictions, the number of people coming to Citizens Advice Cymru for help with issues related to the private rented sector has doubled since last year.

The charity has seen more than 250 households threatened with eviction or issued a possession order.

One in four renters in Wales went into the crisis with no savings at all, and a third have reported that they have either fallen behind on their rent or expect to because of coronavirus.

There are concerns that families in Wales face losing their homes as coronavirus protections are withdrawn.

Citizens Advice Cymru say that the loss of rented or tied accommodation is the single biggest reason for people being threatened with homelessness, with rent arrears the second largest.


Rebecca Woolley, Director of Citizens Advice Cymru said: "Renters in Wales urgently need longer-term protections in place before emergency Covid-19 regulations come to an end on the August 23. The current crisis has been financially devastating for many families in Wales, and we're seeing lots of households struggling to keep up with rent payments.

"We're urging the Welsh Government to take steps to give more security to renters and ensure that no one is forced out of their home because of Covid-19."

Citizens Advice Cymru are calling on the Welsh Government to:

1. Fulfil its commitment to provide greater security for tenants by commencing an amended Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016. It should accelerate plans to amend the act to provide greater security for tenants in the private rented sector through measures proposed in the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill.

2. In the interim, use the temporary powers granted under the Coronavirus Act 2020 to extend the minimum notice period for section 21 evictions and evictions for rent arrears from 3 to 6 months.

3. Help prevent financial problems from escalating by taking steps to encourage people to check what benefits and support they are entitled to.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Whilst scrutiny of the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill by the Senedd was unavoidably disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, we remain committed to legislating to improve security for tenants. The Legislative Programme is being kept under regular review in light of the impact and progress of the pandemic. The First Minister will be making a statement on the Programme on July 15.

"We welcomed the decision by the courts to extend the suspension of evictions to August 23 and await the outcome of judicial consideration of what more can be done to protect tenants from eviction, particularly under the mandatory rent arrears ground.

"In addition we recently wrote to the UK Government seeking clarification that the increase in the Local Housing Allowance to the 30th percentile will continue past March 31, 2021 and calling on the UK government to reinstate LHA rates to the 50th percentile.

"We are concerned about the increase in rent arrears and have called on the UK Government to amend the welfare system to; abolish the five week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit, stop the two-child limit policy, end the benefit cap and extend discretionary housing payments to those people who are not entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but who may be on a low income and facing difficulties meeting housing-related costs as a result of COVID19."