Specialist solicitor for landlords, David Sodimu of Holmes & Hills Solicitors, discusses the 13th May 2021 Government announcement regarding the lifting of the ban on residential possession proceedings and changes to notice periods.
In previous articles, we have discussed the impact of the Coronavirus Act 2020 on Landlords following the changes to the required notice period relating to Section 21 and Section 8 proceedings announced by the Government. On 10 March 2021 the Government extended the moratorium on the enforcement of residential possession orders until 31 May 2021.
On 13th May 2021 the Government confirmed that the ban on the enforcement of possession orders will indeed be lifted on 31 May.
The Government have also announced that, from 1 June 2021, the notice periods for eviction notices will be reduced from 6 months to, at least, 4 months whilst the notice periods for the more serious cases will remain lower. In other words, the notice period required under Section 21 and Section 8 notices will be 4 months unless the notice relates to one of the serious cases listed below.
The more serious cases will require the following periods of notice:
Notice periods for cases where there is 4 or more months of rent arrears will reduce to 2 months’ notice from 1 August 2021.
The Housing Minister, Chris Pincher, has stated that the Government expects the notice periods to return to pre-pandemic levels by October 2021. The changes are intended to ensure that renters continue to be protected with longer notice periods whilst giving residential landlords improved access to justice given that around 45 per cent of private landlords own just one property and are highly vulnerable to rent arrears.
Many Landlords may still be dissatisfied with this latest announcement set out by Government in respect of notice periods. However, if you have very recently served an eviction notice on a tenant, you may stand to gain the most from this change as you can, from 1 June 2021, serve a new eviction notice to supersede a previous notice served, which can now provide shorter notice for eviction.
For the Landlords that have, within the past five months, already served an eviction notice in relation to longstanding rent arrears only (which have been outstanding for over 4 months as at 1 June), it may be worth serving a new Section 8 eviction notice so that there is a shorter period of notice for the Tenant to vacate the Property.
If you are a landlord requiring advice or guidance in relation to dealing with a tenant that is not paying rent or whom you wish to evict from your property, call and speak to Landlord and Tenant Law specialist, David Sodimu for practical and pragmatic advice based on the most up to date legislation and to ensure you are providing the correct notice period.