Protection for tenants continues with 4-month notice periodsJune 10th 2021
The government is continuing its support for tenants to protect them from being evicted during the Covid-19 pandemic, even though lockdown restrictions have now been eased.
Natalie Tatton, Solicitor provides an update.
As part of a phased approach back to normality, notice periods – previously extended to 6 months as an emergency measure during the pandemic – are now set at four months, dated from 1 June.
Subject to the public health advice and progress with the roadmap out of restrictions, notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October.
The ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, ended on 31 May. However, bailiffs have been asked not to carry out an eviction if anyone living in the property has Covid-19 symptoms or is self-isolating.
Ministers say the measures will ensure renters continue to be protected with longer notice periods for the coming months, while allowing landlords to access justice – 45% of private landlords own just one property and are highly vulnerable to rent arrears.
Courts will continue to prioritise the most serious cases, such as those involving fraud or anti-social behaviour.
Notice periods for the most serious cases that present the most strain on landlords will remain lower than the standard four months:
- anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks’ notice)
- domestic abuse in the social sector (2 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).
Meanwhile, the government has announced that a White Paper to be published in the autumn will set out proposals to create a fairer private rented sector that works for both landlords and tenants.
This includes proposals for the abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions to give tenants greater security and a new ‘lifetime deposit’ to ease the burden when moving house.
If you would like more information about the issues raised in this article please contact Natalie on 01228 516666 or click here to send her an email.