Leading property law firm Irwin Mitchell has welcomed the government’s decision to give landlords concessions within its latest update on the evictions ban extension published on Friday.

The key changes are to extend the eviction notice period from three to six months, and extending the stay on possession hearings in the courts until September 20th.

But landlords have also been given several exemptions which enable them to give tenants shorter notice than six months if the tenant has been involved in:

  • 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)

“The new legislation is a positive step for the residential landlord and tenant market,” the law firm says. “Many landlords had begun to feel forgotten about, while also suffering due to COVID-19.

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“The legislation feels more evenly balanced as it provides tenants with extended notice periods, whilst allowing landlords to recover possession of a property sooner where the arrears are over half a year in total. 

“It should not be forgotten that most landlords also have ongoing liabilities for which they are reliant upon their rental income.”

The Law Society has also welcomed the extension, but said that more work is needed to help both tenants and landlords get through the pandemic.

Simon Davis, President of the Law Society of England and Wales, says the extension will provide relief for tenants who face eviction “and will give vulnerable tenants the time they need to seek help and find a new place to live”.

But he says more needs to be done “including resolving the legal aid deserts currently preventing tenants in some areas from receiving legal advice and making wider legislative changes to prevent a spike in homelessness”.

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