The Government has announced further changes in the notice periods the landlord must give tenants prior to seeking possession through the courts.
From 29 August 2020, landlords must provide at least six months’ notice under either Section 21 and under Section 8 for arrears of less than six months prior to seeking possession through the courts.
Notices served on and before 28 August are not affected by these changes, and must give at least 3 months’ notice.
There are certain key exceptions to the requirement to give six months’ notice; 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.
The prescribed Forms 3 and 6a (for Section 8 and Section 21 notice respectively) have been updated and are available here. Currently possession proceedings must be brought following Section 21 notice within six months of the date of the notice and we understand that the validity of a section notice is being extended to 10 months in order that it does not expire prior to being actioned.
Team at Helix Law