1 June 2021 - Residential Notice periods reduced, and evictions can restart

Amongst measures introduced in response to the Coronavirus, the periods of notice that need to be given to assured tenants were extended, and evictions from residential properties were, for want of a better word, banned.  As part of the ‘roadmap to recovery’, these notice periods are now being reduced, and the eviction ban has been lifted. 

Notice  

Section 21

From and including 1 June 2021, any Section 21 notice served upon a Tenant occupying a property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy will need to give a Tenant 4 months’ notice of the date upon which the Landlord requires the Tenant to vacate the property (immediately prior to 1 June 2021, the notice period was 6 months).

It is presently intended that from and including 1 August 2021, the notice period will return to the pre-pandemic ‘normal’ period of 2 months.

Section 8

Notice periods for section 8 notices have also been reduced from and including 1 June 2021.

If a Landlord wishes to rely on one of the Rent grounds (Ground 8, 10 or 11) to recover possession when serving a section 8 notice, then:

  • where a Tenant is less than 4 months’ in arrears with their rent, 4 months’ notice must be given; and
  • where a Tenant is more than 4 months’ in arrears with their rent, 4 weeks’ notice must be given

Notice periods for cases where there are less than 4 months’ unpaid rent will reduce from 4 months to 2 months from 1 August 2021.

The notice period has been reduced from 6 months to 4 months in the case of a breach of tenancy agreement (‘discretionary’ possession Ground 12), damage to property (‘discretionary’ possession Ground 13) and damage to furniture (‘discretionary’ possession Ground 15).

The notice period in the case of a death of the Tenant (‘mandatory’ Ground 7) has now reduced to 2 months from 3 months, and the notice period in the case of a Tenant having no right to rent (‘mandatory’ possession Ground 7B) has reduced from 3 months to 2 weeks, returning to the pre-pandemic notice periods.

There remains no notice period in circumstances where the Landlord is relying on ‘discretionary’ possession Ground 14 (antisocial and/or unlawful behavior), whilst notice period under the ‘mandatory’ possession Ground 7A - serious antisocial behavior  - remains 4 weeks.

We are still a long way from the pre-pandemic position where a Landlord could serve a section 8 notice based on rent arrears giving a tenant 2 weeks notice of an intention to issue, but the notice periods will continue to reduce in the coming months. By the end of the year, it is envisaged that the notice periods will have returned to what they were before measures were introduced in response to the Coronavirus.

Evictions

From and including 1 June 2021, Landlords of residential properties can once again enforce possession orders to recover possession of their properties.

Whilst the Government has long encouraged Landlords and Tenants to work together to get through the pandemic, there will undoubtedly be a large number of applications being filed at Court in the coming days by Landlords wishing to recover their properties.

If you have any queries arising from this article, or would like to suggest a topic for a future article, please contact Chris Drinkall on 01482 337367 or christopher.drinkall@rollits.com Chris can also be followed on Twitter at @drinkall_chris and on LinkedIn.

Posted on: 01/06/2021

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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