Following on from the announcement by the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick on 21 August 2020 that the ban on eviction proceedings was being extended for another 4 weeks until 20 September 2020, the Government has announced that they will be providing tenants with additional protection from eviction over the winter period.
As of 29 August 2020, landlords must now give tenants 6 months’ notice period prior to seeking possession through the courts in most cases, including section 21 evictions and rent arrears under 6 months. This is likely to be the case until March 2021 except in some circumstances where there are serious incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators.
The new legislation applies to both the private and social rented sectors in England, and to all new notices in relation to assured, assured shorthold, secure, flexible, introductory and demoted tenancies and those under the Rent Act 1977, but not to any notices issued before the legislation came into force.
What happens if notice was served before 29 August 2020?
Section 21 Notices
A section 21 notice must give you at least:
- 2 months’ notice period if the notice was given before 26 March 2020.
- 3 months’ notice period if the notice was given on or after 26 March 2020.
- 6 months’ notice period if the notice was given on or after 29 August 2020.
A key point to note is that the validity of a section 21 notice has been extended to reflect the new 6 months’ notice period. Previously a section 21 notice was only valid for 6 months, now a section 21 notice will be valid for 10 months. This will allow landlords 4 months in which to issue a claim for possession in court after the 6 months’ notice period has expired.
Section 8 notices
A section 8 notice must give you at least:
- Either 2 weeks, 4 weeks or 2 months’ notice depending on which ground(s) the landlord is relying on if the notice was given before 26 March 2020.
- 3 months’ notice if the notice was given on or after 26 March 2020.
- Either 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 3 months or 6 months’ notice depending on which ground(s) the landlord is relying on if the notice was given on or after 29 August 2020.
The validity of a section 8 notice has not been extended as it is currently valid for a year from the date of the notice. As such, even with the new 6 months’ notice period, landlords will still have 6 months left in which to issue a claim for possession after the initial 6 months’ notice period has expired.
Key points for landlords
With the change in legislation, the Government has also sought to assist landlords in obtaining possession of their property where there are cases of:
- Anti-social behaviour, landlords are only required to give 4 weeks’ notice.
- Domestic abuse, landlords are only required to give 2 to 4 weeks’ notice.
- False statement, landlords are only required to give 2 to 4 weeks’ notice.
- Over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears, landlords are only required to give 4 weeks’ notice.
- Breach of immigration rules, ‘Right to Rent’, landlords are only required to give 3 months’ notice.
Amendments to the forms
The Government has also amended the Form 3 (for section 8 proceedings) and Form 6A (for section 21 accelerated possession proceedings) notices to reflect the change in legislation. It is very important to be aware that, should landlords wish to serve notice on their tenants, they must do so by using the correct and up to date forms and also provide the correct notice period to their tenants.
For further advice regarding the change in legislation and how this affects your rights as a landlord or tenant, we are offering FREE 20-minute appointments by telephone to discuss your case and provide practical advice. If you have any other issues related to Homelessness, ASBOs and Disrepair and need advice and assistance during these difficult times, then please do not hesitate to contact our Housing Team on
020 8492 2290.
Posted on Thursday, 3rd September 2020