Residential Landlord and Tenant Update – Changes from 1 June 2021
The current COVID-19 restrictions relating to possession proceedings and evictions are due to remain in place until 31 May 2021.
We recently published an article setting out the changes made by the Coronavirus Act 2020 (“the Act”) to possession proceedings – follow the link to this article for the background.
The Current Position
It is still currently possible to commence possession proceedings under Section 8 of the Act (where there has been a breach by the tenant) and Section 21 (for a “no-fault” eviction).
However, excluding certain situations listed below, it is necessary for the landlord to give the tenant six months’ notice rather than the usual two (or in some circumstances, even less).
A landlord can give a tenant shorter notice prior to commencing possession proceedings in the following circumstances:
- where there are serious rent arrears of more than six months a landlord must currently provide their tenant with four weeks’ notice of eviction.
- where there is anti-social behaviour, illegal occupation or domestic violence (the latter in the social sector only) have now reverted to the original notice periods as set out in the Housing Act 1988.
At present, there is also a stay (temporary prohibition) on bailiff-enforced evictions under the Coronavirus 2020 Act. This means that whilst it is still possible to obtain a court order for possession, an enforcement officer cannot be instructed to proceed with the eviction even if the notice period has elapsed.
The Law from 1 June 2021
We await further updates from the government but assuming the current restrictions are lifted from 1 June 2021, the notice period for rent arrears of at least two months under a Section 8 notice will revert to two weeks and the notice period of at least six months under a “non-fault” Section 21 notice will revert to two months.
It is important to note, however, that the notice periods for Section 8 and Section 21 notices which have already been served under the amended Coronavirus Act 2020 rules (that is, notices served prior to 1 June 2021) will still need to run their respective longer course.
The temporary prohibition on bailiff-enforced evictions is due to be lifted on 1 June 2021 and so from this point, it will once again be possible for landlords to serve a possession order on an enforcement officer to enable him (or her) to attend the property to require a tenant to leave.
The proposed lifting of these conditions will come as a welcome relief to landlords who may have been losing income from tenants who have not paid rent and who are also struggling to evict their tenants in a timely fashion under the tighter Coronavirus rules.
How we can help
Our team of specialist property litigation solicitors have the expertise and skills to assist you with evicting tenants under this evolving legislation.
If you would like advice in relation to your property please do get in contact with one of our solicitors:
- Annabel Mayer is a Senior Associate who is contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01284 727118.
- Alice Trainor is a Solicitor who is contactable at email@example.com or on 01603 703201.
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