Government has changed the law so most renters have a 6 month notice period
Last week the Government announced that notice periods for section 8 and section 21 notices would change.
The Government has announced that legislation has now been introduced, so landlords must now give tenants 6 months’ notice before they can evict until March 2021, except in the most serious of cases, such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators.
The stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September, meaning that in total no tenant can have been legally evicted for 6 months at the height of the pandemic.
The package of support for renters includes the extension of notice periods and the extension to the stay on possession proceedings. For the most egregious cases, notice periods have returned to their pre-coronavirus levels, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.
· The government is also helping landlords affected by the worst cases to seek possession; these are:
o anti-social behaviour (now 4 weeks’ notice)
o domestic abuse (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
o false statement (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
o over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears (now 4 weeks’ notice)
o breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (now 3 months’ notice)
In addition, new court rules have been agreed, which will come into force on 20 September meaning landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.
Secretary for Housing, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said:
We have developed a package of support for renters to ensure they continue to be protected over winter. I have changed the law so that renters are protected by a 6 month notice period until March 2021.
No tenant will have been legally evicted for 6 months at the height of the pandemic as the stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September. For the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, notice periods have returned to their normal level, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.
These changes will support landlords to progress the priority cases while keeping the public safe over winter. We will keep these measures under review and decisions will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice.
The new legislation applies to both the private and social rented sectors in England, and to all new notices in relation to assured, assured shorthold, secure, flexible, introductory and demoted tenancies and those under the Rent Act 1977, but not to any notices issued before the legislation comes into force.
Courts will carefully prioritise the most egregious cases, including anti-social behaviour, fraud, and domestic abuse, ensuring landlords are able to progress the most serious cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 01279 600 567 opt 2 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to our lettings legal adviser for training our team quickly on this subject and writing this article.
Author - Susie Crolla
Guild of Lettings
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