In May 2021, the government announced that the eviction ban then in place until 31 May 2021, will not be extended further.
The news was a relief for many landlords who obtained an order for possession prior to the pandemic and since the stay of possession proceedings was lifted in September 2020, but have been unable to enforce it.
If you are a landlord that has already obtained a warrant for possession, you should be careful to ensure that it has not expired. Warrants have an expiration date of 12 months’ from the date of issue, and if this date passes, you may need to obtain a further warrant. However, a warrant can be extended by application to the court.
The government also announced new notice periods for notices seeking possession which are due to be in place until 30 September 2021. From 1 June 2021, 4 months’ notice will now be required when serving a Section 21 Notice which is down from the current notice period in place of 6 months. Furthermore, the amount of rent arrears required for serving a 4 week Section 8 notice relying on Ground 8, has been reduced from 6 months to 4 months. From 1 August 2021, where the arrears are less than 4 months, the notice period will change from 6 months to 2 months. These changes are documented in The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 which came into effect on 31 May 2021 and amends The Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Protection from Eviction) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020).
From 1 June 2021, paragraph 12(1) of Schedule 29 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 will be suspended. This relates to the prescribed forms 3 and 6A (Section 8 and Section 21 respectively). As a result, there are new prescribed forms 3 and 6A that are to be used from 1 June 2021. The guidance notes to these forms include both the ‘breathing space’ regulations and the new notice periods.
The final change from 1 June 2021 is in respect of Section 21 notices. When a Section 21 Notice is served after this date, the period in which proceedings must be issued has been amended from 10 months to 8 months. In practice this will mean that once a Section 21 Notice is served, there will be a 4 month notice period for the tenant followed by a further 4 month period in which possession proceedings will need to be issued by the landlord if the tenant fails to vacate the property.
Should you require any advice or assistance in respect of the above issues, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 696 6170 and our team landlord and tenant solicitors will be able to assist.