Good news for landlords

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The Government announced last night (12 May) that changes will be made to notice periods and that the “eviction ban” will not be extended further. So, what does this mean for landlords?

From 1 June, new notice periods for notices of seeking possession on tenancies will take effect. Whilst the notice requirements will not revert to their pre-COVID form, there will be a reduction in the amount of notice a landlord is required to give a tenant and these notice periods will remain in force until 30 September 2021.

Notice periods will reduce from six months to four months unless one of a number of exceptions apply. The exceptions largely remain as they currently are:

  • for serious anti-social behaviour, the notice period is between immediate issue of a claim and four weeks’ notice
  • for social housing landlords who can issue a claim where domestic abuse has taken place, the notice period is between two and four weeks
  • the notice period for false statement is also between two and four weeks
  • immigration breaches require a two-week notice period and
  • where a tenant has died a two-month notice period is required.

The situation becomes more complicated where a landlord is serving notice on rent arrears and will be relying on Ground 8. Where there is less than four months’ rent outstanding, a notice of four months applies. However, if there is at least four months’ rent outstanding then the notice period reduces to four weeks, although there will be a further change on 1 August with regard to the notice period required for rent arrears.

Section 21 notices will require a notice period of four months and any claim must be issued within four months of service of the notice.

New forms must be used from 1 June 2021 and, with only two weeks remaining until then, it would seem sensible for landlords to wait until that time before serving new notices in order to take advantage of the new notice periods.

And there is more good news as the Government has announced that, from 1 June, the eviction ban will end and bailiff appointments can take place once again. Hopefully, from that point, we will begin to see some of the existing possession orders enforced.