From Robert Ulph on June 8, 2021
I wrote recently about the latest update the Government announced regarding notice periods, after what has been nearly 14 months of change and review. So, with effect from this week, the ban on bailiff-enforced evictions ended on Monday 31st May and from Tuesday 1st June, notice periods in England that were six months, will now reduce to at least four months.
Since changes were introduced to notice periods at the start of the pandemic back in March last year and an eviction ban was introduced, the Government regularly reviewed the situation in line with the public health advice at the time. A number of previous extensions pushed the end date to 31 May 2021 and that ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, has come to an end.
As part of a phased approach through Step 3 and Step 4 of the Roadmap, notice periods are being reduced, apart from the most serious cases, which remain lower. These include:
• anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)
• false statement (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
• over 4 months’ accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks’ notice)
• breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent (2 weeks’ notice)
• death of a tenant (2 months’ notice)
• domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
Notice periods for cases where there is less than four months’ unpaid rent, will reduce to two months’ notice from 1 August 2021. This is to support both landlords and tenants and responds to the greater difference between COVID and pre-COVID notice periods for rent arrears. The measures will also ensure renters continue to be protected with longer notice periods for the coming months while allowing landlords to access justice. Subject to the public health advice and progress with the Roadmap, notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October 2021.
If any landlord is unsure what this means to them or if they are already affected financially with mortgage payments and lost rent, I cannot stress enough to seek professional advice. I also urge any tenants who are facing financial difficulties to contact their landlord or letting agent as soon as possible to discuss what options might be, as it is best to avoid rent arrears and any uncertainty.
I would also remind that the recent situation has never been a green light for tenants to assume that they can simply stop paying their rent as this could have long-term implications for their landlord and on the future of their rental.
At Pennington we can advise what can be arranged so that both tenants and landlord come through these latest changes in the best way. So as always if you need advice on this or anything else on the local property market, please call me as I am always happy to help.