The government has announced plans to wind down the evictions ban, offering light at the end of the tunnel for the thousands of landlords waiting to evict tenants.

In a significant concession for desperate landlords won by the NRLA, housing minister Christopher Pincher (above) has signed off changes to evictions legislation that will see bailiffs restart their work on 1st June.

Many experts had worried that the bailiff evictions ban might be extended once more in expectation of economic problems as the furlough scheme comes to an end later this year.

Notice periods

Bailiffs re-starting will coincide with a reduction in the eviction notice period landlords must give to tenants from the current six months to four months.

But most crucially, the relaxation of restrictions is to include Section 21 notices, a significant concession to landlords given the hard campaigning by many tenant groups such as Shelter to have them banned.

It had been expected that ministers would only allow the evictions process to re-start for mandatory grounds not the ‘no fault’ grounds that Section 21 notice enable.

Returning to normal

Pincher has also signed off on notice periods for Section 8 notice ‘grounds’ evictions returning to normal on October 1st.

This will be between two weeks and two months, depending on the grounds being claimed.

Also, on 31st May the ‘serious arrears’ grounds period will be reduced from six months to four months, enabling landlords to begin proceeding earlier, with a further reduction expected in August. Some exemptions will apply (see below).

Unprecedented action

Minister Pincher says: “From the beginning of the pandemic, we have taken unprecedented action to protect renters and help keep them in their homes.

“As COVID restrictions are eased in line with the Roadmap out of lockdown, we will ensure tenants continue to be supported with longer notice periods, while also balancing the need for landlords to access justice.

“Crucial financial support also remains in place including the furlough scheme and uplift to Universal Credit.”


Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the NRLA says: “Having operated under emergency conditions for over a year, today’s announcement from the Government is an important step in ensuring the sector’s recovery.

“It does nothing though to address the rent debt crisis. With the number of private tenants in arrears having increased threefold since lockdown measures started, more are at risk of losing their homes as restrictions ease.

“We want to see tenancies sustained wherever possible and call on the Chancellor to step in and provide affected tenants with the financial support they need to pay off rent arrears built as a result of the pandemic.”

Tim Frome of Landlord Action (left) says: “It is good news for landlords that bailiffs will be restarting from 1st June for landlords who have possession orders. It is likely the bailiffs will be very busy clearing the backlog so we wait to see how the courts cope,” says

“The government setting out a timetable for the resumption of previous possession notice periods by 1st October will hopefully give some certainty and enable us to advise landlords on their options.”

Alicia Kennedy, Director of Generation Rent, says: “When 353,000 private renters are in arrears, and the government still has no plan to clear their debts, loosening the restrictions on evictions is reckless. Renters who have lost income as a result of the pandemic are already struggling to find a home they can afford – if the Government doesn’t intervene, thousands of homeless families could be turning to their council for help.

“We can’t build back better without financial support for the renters who have been hit hardest. 

“The Government must introduce a Covid Rent Debt Fund, allowing renters to clear their debts and landlords to claim for up to 80% of income lost.”

More detail

From 1 June, notice periods that are currently six months will reduce to at least four months. Notice periods for the most serious cases that present the most strain on landlords will remain lower:

  • 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)


  1. More twaddle from this Govt.
    Still facilitating feckless rent defaulting tenants to ponce off LL resources.

    A disgrace!

    Anyone in arrears which will most probably be months should be immediately evicted.
    No bailiffs no nothing.
    Just get the Police to assist any LL if the tenants refuse to vacate.

    Feckless tenants should go to the Council who will reject most of them as being INTENTIONALLY HOMELESS due to rent default.

    For too long Govt has facilitated tenants to ponce off LL.

    Govt is effectively forcing LL to provide free accommodation as they WON’T allow LL to remove rent defaulting tenants IMMEDIATELY!

    This is outrageous.

    There must be plenty of desperate tenants only too willing to pay rent.

    If only the LL were allowed to get rid of rent defaulting tenants IMMEDIATELY then they could let to tenants prepared to pay rent.

  2. There are some tenants who have genuinely struggled to pay their rent and some who have taken advantage of the situation. The government should offer loans to tenants so they can clear arrears and the money should go straight to the landlord.

    If a tenant refused the loan they should be evicted with 2 weeks notice and bailiffs should be available to assist.

  3. A good idea Berlingogirl, however, its unlikely to happen, as I am told all too often ‘your a landlord, you can afford it’. The government would rather see a landlord write off the arrears, sell the property and they take a large slice of capital gains tax. Short term thinking, but its what appears to be happening.

  4. The Generation Rent woman just doesn’t make sense – if a person has ‘lost income’ they can do several things, one of which is claim benefits. They can also budget, or begin to sell their possessions. We’ve had to do that on numerous occasions just to stay afloat and more or less ahead of the bills, whilst our (then) tenants sat on their arses and couldn’t be bothered to walk five minutes down to the jobcentre to sort their claims out. We still had to pay the mortgages although no rent was coming in! And typically, they always had tellies, fags and drugs. It’s no wonder I lack sympathy these days.
    Just as with a mortgage, when one had got into difficulty, communicate with those to whom you owe money, rather than avoiding the issue. Also it helps if you live within your means, rather than continuously overstretching. There are cheap places to live all over Britain and abroad. It is an absolute myth that there are not, or that we have a ‘Housing Crisis’. We have a population crisis, and continually building rotten little rabbit-hutches just so that people can produce yet MORE children will only make it worse.

    • You are correct there is NO housing crisis.
      But there IS a housing crisis in high demand areas.

      There are streets of empty homes up North.

      Those who rent should be forced to move to where there is suitable accommodation.
      .We simply cannot continue with the situation where people on housing waiting lists stay on them waiting for their ideal council property in their ideal area.

      Such tenants should be forced to move or lose ALL entitlement to housing even TA.

      There are plenty of properties available.

      Like in wartime where people were billeted people on council housing lists should be housed wherever there is suitable accommodation.
      TOUGH if the tenants don’t like it then source your own private rental.

      We need to remove choice from those needing housing.

      They should be assigned social or private rental lettings wherever available.

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