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New rules to come into force on the 1st October 2021 for possession notice periods

Litigation

As a result of Covid-19, the Government introduced legislation in June 2020 extending the notice periods required by Landlords to give to tenants prior to obtaining possession of the property. In some cases, the notice was extended from a period of 2 weeks to 6 months.

Shorter notice became available after the National Residential Landlords Association (NLRA) petitioned for the government to provide exemptions under severe circumstances such as:

  • Anti-social behaviour – If tenants were participating in anti-social behaviour, landlords were able to provide a notice period of 24 hours or up to 4 weeks.
  • Rent Arrears – If the tenant is late in making their rent payment by the due date or they have never made their rent payments the money owed is called ‘rent arrears’. Under these circumstances, the landlord is able to serve a notice period of 4 weeks to 2 months depending on the amount generated in arrears.

What changes will come into force on 1st October 2021?

From 1st October 2021 beleaguered landlords who have not been able to take action against their tenants for things such as rent arrears will be able to serve Notices based upon the pre-covid legislation. The following changes will come into force in England for shorthold tenancy agreements:

  • The Section 21 Notice will revert to being 2 months from the 1st October 2021.
  • Rent arrears can be pursued as a money judgement alongside seeking possession and in particular if relying upon one of grounds 8, 10 and 11 the 2 weeks’ Notice will be reintroduced.
  • Section 8 Notice – if grounds 3, 4, 7b, 12, 13, 14A, 15 or 17 are used the notice period will go back to two weeks.
  • Section 8 Notice – ground 7a used for anti-social behaviour with a conviction will revert to one calendar month.
  • Section 8 Notice – using ground 14, the discretionary ground for anti-social behaviour, a landlord can immediately serve a notice period of 24 hours.

Amendments to forms used by landlords under the Section 8 and Section 21 Notices

Under the new legislation, newer versions of Section 8 (Form 3) and Section 21 (Form 6a) will be introduced. It is important to ensure landlords are using the correct version when serving notices. The revised forms will be available to download on the gov.uk website from 1st October 2021.

This is welcome news for landlords however, the Government have retained the power to reintroduce longer Notices in the event of any further lockdowns which may be introduced.

Should you require any advice and assistance in the drafting and serving of the Notices to obtain possession of your property, please do not hesitate to contact Kally Singh at Hegarty Solicitors on 01733 395 642 or email kally.singh@hegarty.co.uk

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