The government has amended its Covid legislation to bring in six-month notice periods for most kinds of eviction notices including Section 21s but has given several concessions to landlords following heavy NRLA lobbying.

The new measures for England will run from Saturday 29th August until 31st March during which landlords can still give those involved in anti-social behaviour four weeks’ notice instead of six months; domestic violence (two weeks’ notice); rent arrears over six months (four weeks); and tenancies gained through fraud (two weeks).

Also, where the grounds for eviction relate to the tenant’s immigration status or the tenancy is an assured tenancy and possession is sought following the death of the former tenant, it will be three months’ notice.

Finally, the window that a Section 21 notice can be used within is being increased from six to ten months.

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This is to rectify a problem caused by the six-month notice period extension which, many had warned, was on course to make Section 21 evictions impossible. This is because the notice period would end on the same day the eviction itself expired. But landlords now have an additional four months to get a court hearing date.

Exemptions

“It is going to be interesting to see how the exemptions work in practice,” says Tim Frome, Head of Legal of Landlord Action.

He also says that at the moment, evidence from a possession claim his company made online today the courts are preparing for an evictions re-start at the end of September.But landlords have been here before; last Friday, the government executed a U-turn and extended the ban despite courts being told to prepare for a August 24th possession claim re-start.

Evictions expert Paul Shamplina says he’d noticed more landlords giving tenants notice in recent days as many realised that the government was likely to bring in the longer notice periods ‘within days rather than weeks’.

Not retrospective

ARLA Propertymark says it understands the legislation is not retrospective; “Section 21 notices served prior to tomorrow (Saturday 29th) should retain a three month notice period, however any notices issued from tomorrow onwards must be served on the basis of a six month notice period,” it says.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association (right), says: “Today’s announcement provides welcome clarity about how possession cases will be handled.

“But it will mean nothing without a complete guarantee that the courts will hear cases from 20th September.”

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Notice periods are irrelevant and can be misleading since courts take so long to deal with cases once submitted as it doesn’t set a timeframe or follow set of fixed procedures in contrary to Tribunals.

    The Government needs to set a time frame for courts to deal with eviction cases for the notice periods to be considered an important factor in any eviction case.

  2. I have been in my rented property for 15 years and never behind on my bills or rent. I’d been issued a section 21 notice in june to vacate my property on the 9th september. Does this extention apply to me? I dont want to trouble my landlord but im finding it hard to find a new property.

    • As far as I understand the law as it stands, if your landlord gave you the eviction notice before the 29th August, they must wait three months before you have to move out. If it was today or afterwards, then they will have to wait six months.

    • If you have been a good tenant all those years and now some selfish person wants you out then that is a good reason for assured tenancies to protect decent people like yourself.

      • Why is a landlord be being selfish serving notice on a good tenant?. There will be a thousand and one reasons other than a motive against the tenant
        The vast majority or landlords are good honest people wanting to provide a good home in return for a fair rent
        Don’t paint the whole wall the same colour bringing in draconian measures aimed fundamentally at protecting
        Those few tenants that are focused on breaking the system for their own gain

    • if you stay put your landlord will have to go through the courts to enforce the S 21. Pay the rent as it falls due and sit tight until you find something. I would guess you have about 9 months given the backlog.

    • Definitely get some independent advice. Shelter are excellent. Sadly if your notice has already been served then assuming its legally compliant your landlord doesn’t need to reserve anything. The one you have can be actioned. But, court cannot be applied for until 20th Sept which is when they reopen, and possession not granted (so you don’t need to leave) until court issues you with a date. You are also sadly unable to argue too.much as you have an assured shorthold tenancy, which does not require the landlord to explain why the want possession. It is worth having proof of any impact if any that covid has had on your life.

  3. This is not right .my land lord 11 years ago the son .took over .and after 21 years in this house .as done NOTHING. We have no epc
    The gas fire was condemd we paid to have it put right we have had central heating put in and double glazing i am very poorly .at 65 and my husband at 72 .we cant aford to move or have the energy he wants to sell the house .what rights do we have

    • You cannot take or keep something you don’t legally own or entitled to just because you need it. If you have been renting the property under AST, you should be well aware that one day you may have to leave or return it to the rightful owner.

      The Council has a duty to assist all in need if they are eligible.

      Why would you change windows in a house, you don’t legally own? I think, you have been trying to act as the owner but you are not. If you rent a car, you cannot simply paint it in a different colour or change the engine because you don’t like the speed it is doing and definitely you cannot expect to keep it just because you need it. Otherwise, anyone can rent properties, hire cars, even private jets, etc and keep them forcefully without the need to pay for their price. If everyone does that, other than it is clearly illegal, the rental market will vanish before you blink and that cannot be good, right, fair or just to anyone.

      The main problem with this big issue, is the sense of entitlement which most of the times is not real. As someone quoted, “Entitlement is delusion built on self-centerdness and laziness”

  4. Wonderful! But how does that help me and other landlords like me who don’t have anyone to evict BECAUSE WE HAVE EMPTY PROPERTIES & STILL HAVE TO PAY 100% COUNCIL TAX?

    Please help us. Personally, I am running on fumes. My only income is my state pension from which I have to pay the Council Tax and the mortgage which means I am eating into my retirement savings.

    • Easy take in lodgers not tenants for your property.

      Stay at your property once per month minimum.
      Look on the

      Spareroom website.

      Lodgers CANNOT be tenants if you give a lodger agreement and can come and go from the property whenever you like.

      The lodgers which by necessity would be single and unrelated while garner you far more income than 1 household of multiple occupants.

      £7500 of lodger income is tax free.

      But how would anyone know you may receive more than the Room For Rent Allowance if you receive lodger rent in cash!.

      Lodgers are the way to go.
      The only hassle is that you will have to visit the property once per month.

      This is a minimum requirement anyway for residential insurance purposes.

      Do not exceed 4 lodgers otherwise you would need to comply with MANDATORY HMO Licencing.

    • Sell the propety and invest the money into a lower risk environment. Being a landlord with minimal income and capital to tide yourself over is not a good idea

    • You can have my tenant who’s 17 months overdue in rent and refuses to leave. They pay the council tax, but that’s all. I want my property back and instead of good old fashion “Throw them out” literally, I have to beg them to leave and go through the courts and wait…geez. I’d prefer to be in your shoes anytime.

  5. What is your understanding of the eviction ban and compulsorily purchase order by local authority. Myself and others have been harassed and bullied by the council’s legal team since early March when a General Vesting Declaration was issued effective from June 11th. Early August we were given until 31st August to vacate my own property (council has now made advance compensation payment only last Friday) No independent valuation carried out. After lobbying local MP and Starmer, the threat of Warrant of Possession has now been extended to 7th September. Can CPO powers overrule emergency government legislation?

  6. What about landlords living temporarily overseas who may need their property to live in themselves but not able to give 6 months notice. Will they then be left homeless?

  7. I am with a conical and because of a death and the succession law been told I have to leave my property does this still apply to me

  8. Dear sirs

    I was served a secr 21 to vacate propert by may 21 will i be evicted come,sept 29.m a nurse shielding,now after 16 yrs…merely on UC.a..dunno. what future holds

  9. This article is so confused it should be removed.
    The new measure for England will run from Saturday 29th August until 31st March and cover Section 21 notices but will include several exemptions.

    Landlords can give those involved in anti-social behaviour four weeks’ notice instead of six months; domestic violence (two weeks’ notice); rent arrears over six months (four weeks); and tenancies gained through fraud (two weeks).

    Given that S21 is the no reason/no blame route and a route through which financial claims cannot be made how can the second paragraph apply? Or is the nature of S21 to change?

    • Sorry you found it confusing Mark – I have amended the intro para to make it clearer that the changes apply to all evictions notices including Section 21s but including the exemptions. thanks for your feedback.

  10. Give all tenants notice now
    Leave the government to it they are making a right mess of it
    Pushing can down the road is not the answer deal with it now

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