Notice Period Changes relating to Residential Evictions Announced
13 May 2021 by Billy Smith
The government has recently announced changes to notice periods that landlords have to provide residential tenants with when seeking to recover vacant possession of property. These periods will apply whether not possession is sought on a fault or no-fault basis.
Both landlords and tenants have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and its provision helped to shield tenants from the consequences of late payment and provided extended protection from eviction but a corollary was that it imposed a greater financial burden on landlords.
Following the introduction of the vaccination programme, the notice periods that landlords have to comply with giving to tenants will soon reduce.
What are the new timescales for Landlords?
From 1st June 2021, notice periods which apply before being able to obtain possession of residential property will reduce to at least 4 months from 6 months.
Notice periods for serious prescribed cases will remain less lengthy.
The following periods will apply:
1. Anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice);
2. Domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice);
3. False statements (2 to 4 weeks’ notice);
4. Over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice);
5. Breach of immigration rules `Right to Rent` (2 weeks’ notice); and
6. Death of a tenant (2 months’ notice).
Notice periods for cases where there are 4 or more months of unpaid rent, will reduce to 2 months’ notice from 1st August 2021.
The Government has advised that the thinking behind the changes was “to support both landlords and tenants and respond to the greater difference between COVID and pre COVID notice periods for rent arrears”.
It has also been announced that on the proviso that there is no deviation from the coming out of COVID roadmap, notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1st October 2021.
This news will be welcomed by landlords and it follows news that the current ban on bailiff evictions will end on 31st May 2021.
Lawyers, landlords and lettings agents alike will also be waiting in anticipation for the publication of the White Paper in the autumn that was announced this week.
It is expected to set out proposals to “create a fairer private rented sector that works for both landlords and tenants”. It has been rumoured that a proposal that may feature in the White Paper will be the abolition of Section 21 `no fault` evictions.