Government changed law so most renters have 6 month notice period

by Property118.com News Team

17:53 PM, 28th August 2020
About 3 months ago

Government changed law so most renters have 6 month notice period

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Government changed law so most renters have 6 month notice period

Legislation has now been introduced, so landlords must now give tenants 6 months’ notice before they can evict until March 2021, except in the most serious of cases, such as incidents of anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators.

The stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September, meaning that in total no tenant can have been legally evicted for 6 months at the height of the pandemic.

The package of support for renters includes the extension of notice periods and the extension to the stay on possession proceedings. For the most egregious cases, notice periods have returned to their pre-coronavirus levels, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.

These changes mean that from 29 August, landlords must provide at least 6 months’ notice period prior to seeking possession through the courts in most cases, including  section 21 evictions and rent arrears under 6 months.

Notices served on and before 28 August are not affected by these changes, and must be at least 3 months.

The government is also helping landlords affected by the worst cases to seek possession; these are:

  • anti-social behaviour (now 4 weeks’ notice)
  • domestic abuse (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • false statement (now 2 to 4 weeks’ notice)
  • over 6 months’ accumulated rent arrears (now 4 weeks’ notice)
  • breach of immigration rules ‘Right to Rent’ (now 3 months’ notice)

In addition, new court rules have been agreed, which will come into force on 20 September meaning landlords will need to set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s circumstances, including information on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where this information is not provided, judges will have the ability to adjourn proceedings.

Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick said: “We have developed a package of support for renters to ensure they continue to be protected over winter. I have changed the law so that renters are protected by a 6 month notice period until March 2021.

“No tenant will have been legally evicted for 6 months at the height of the pandemic as the stay on possession proceedings has been extended until 20 September. For the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, notice periods have returned to their normal level, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.

“These changes will support landlords to progress the priority cases while keeping the public safe over winter.  We will keep these measures under review and decisions will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice.”

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 comes into force.

Courts will carefully prioritise the most egregious cases, including anti-social behaviour, fraud, and domestic abuse, ensuring landlords are able to progress the most serious cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour and other crimes.

Further information

If a landlord made a claim to the court before 3 August, they must notify the Court and their tenant that they still intend to seek repossession before the case will proceed, including in section 21 cases.

More detailed guidance on using the courts and the new arrangements will be made available in advance of possession proceedings starting again.

We are conscious of the pressure on landlords during this difficult time and do not want to exacerbate this.  Of course, it is important that tenants who are able to do so must continue to pay their rent.

The government has put in place an unprecedented support package to support tenants to pay their living costs, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, £9.3 billion of additional support through the welfare system, and increasing the Local Housing Allowance rate to the 30th percentile.

We are committed to bringing forward the Renters Reform Bill to abolish section 21 and deliver a fairer and more effective rented sector in due course. However, such legislation must balance greater security of tenure with an assurance that landlords are able to recover their properties where they have valid reasons to do so.

We have been working closely with the judiciary through a Master of the Rolls led Working Group to finalise the arrangements on the prioritisation of cases, for when the stay on possession proceedings lifts from 20 September.

29 August, landlords must provide at least 6 months’ notice period prior to seeking possession through the courts in most cases, including  section 21 evictions and rent arrears under 6 months. We have also extended the validity of a section 21 notice from 6 to 10 months to accommodate this change.


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Comments

NewYorkie

21:08 PM, 28th August 2020
About 3 months ago

What does 'False Statement' mean with regard to a priority possession hearing?

Would using a neighbour's Wi-Fi without permission to allegedly download child pornography, resulting in a visit from the Police, be considered 'Anti-social Behaviour'?

Is there anything which covers a tenant willfully refusing to pay rent for nearly 6 months?

TinaShoebb

4:29 AM, 29th August 2020
About 3 months ago

The statement says that its a 4 week notice period for antisocial behaviour but the Form 3 on government website says that there is no notice period - that the court proceedings simply must not start before the notice is given
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/assured-tenancy-forms#form-3
Does anyone know how to find the actual regulations - they must be somewhere on the government or parliament website...?
b

TinaShoebb

4:30 AM, 29th August 2020
About 3 months ago

ps the foregoing is for ground 14 - not 14A or 14ZA

TinaShoebb

4:38 AM, 29th August 2020
About 3 months ago

This might be it
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/914/contents/made

Now we just need to decipher it

Sheffieldisa

14:19 PM, 30th August 2020
About 3 months ago

"We are committed to bringing forward the Renters Reform Bill to abolish section 21..."

Why on Earth would you work so avertly against landlord's interests?! Section 21 is more often the only effective remedy that landords have in managing errant tenants. If you have the best interests of landlords at heart then PLEASE DESIST FROM YOUR EFFORTS TO ABOLISH SECTION 21.

Luke P

18:30 PM, 30th August 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Sheffieldisa at 30/08/2020 - 14:19
If they have the best interests of tenants and the mobility of the workforce at heart, desist. We tried life before S.21 and the industry was a mess…why would we go back to those tried and tested days?

Anthony Endsor

20:21 PM, 31st August 2020
About 3 months ago

It's all aimed at making landlords bankrupt, as that will be the only outcome here. I have heard so many landlords say 'I'm getting out' and I need to get out myself now. One small problem though, we can't evict anyone for 6 months now which means any landlord such as myself and thousands of others needing to take properties back for whatever reason now cannot do so. Rent arrears are a big problem yes, but they are not the only reason people need to evict.

Ian Narbeth

11:36 AM, 1st September 2020
About 3 months ago

I have some questions. What percentage of eviction cases brought by landlords are because the tenant is accused of domestic violence? There may be cases where the woman in a household wants to get an abusive man out but are those cases brought by landlords? How many landlords would mount an eviction case on the basis of allegations by a co-tenant or partner of a tenant? Those allegations might be withdrawn at any time if the parties make up or if the woman is too scared to proceed. The landlord is then out of pocket and has damaged the relationship with the tenant.
As for anti-social behaviour cases, Mr Jenrick must know that pre-COVID it took 18 months on average to evict someone for ASB. Who knows how long it will take now? Evidence still has to be collected. The accused has to have his day in court and the victims have to come forward and give evidence against the very person or people threatening them and their family. So I doubt that reducing the notice period to 4 weeks will have a significant effect on evictions for ASB.
This is a political stunt to pretend that the Government is doing something for landlords. In fact if an anti-social tenant or one in "breach of immigration rules" is paying the rent on time, I suspect many landlords will now take the view that it is better to keep that tenant than start an eviction case. Doing so may mean the tenant stops paying rent and then, after a successful eviction, the next tenant might be perfectly legal and sociable but just not pay the rent and the landlord will have to wait for 6 months or arrears before taking action.
Using Section 21 is by far the simplest and most effective way to evict tenants for anti-social behaviour. Abolish that and you protect the thug and the bully and you compel frightened neighbours to risk their health and safety. Robert Jenrick, are you listening?

Ashleigh

16:43 PM, 1st September 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Anthony Endsor at 31/08/2020 - 20:21
We have one of our tenanted houses up for sale so we could release some equity and have a bit of money behind us So that if our other tenants fall into difficulties we could go some way to supporting them. We are now having to retract it from the market because no purchaser is going to wait 6 months while we evict the tenant. We’re not sure what the future holds now but it feels like we’re on the edge of a very slippery slope and who is going to support us?

Seething Landlord

1:37 AM, 2nd September 2020
About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Sheffieldisa at 30/08/2020 - 14:19
They're committed to it because they announced their intention to abolish section 21 in April 2019 and it was in the Queen's speech in 2019 even though they have not yet responded to the consultation that ended last October. We live in hope but I will be amazed if they do a u-turn on this one.

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