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Six months’ notice for evictions introduced

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The government has confirmed that landlords must now give tenants six months’ notice if they wish to regain possession of their property through the courts.

six months notice for evictions

The rule was introduced by Housing and Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick on 29 August and will stay in place until at least 31 March 2021.

It applies in most cases, including section 21 no-fault evictions and tenants with rent arrears of less than six months. However, exceptions will be made in serious cases involving long-standing arrears and anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators.

The move is aimed at protecting tenants during the winter, as the government’s furlough scheme approaches its end. It follows the extension of the ban on evictions by one month, until 20 September 2020.

Mr Jenrick said: “We have developed a package of support for renters to ensure they continue to be protected over winter. I have changed the law so that renters are protected by a six-month notice period until March 2021.

“For the most egregious cases, for example those involving anti-social behaviour or domestic abuse perpetrators, notice periods have returned to their normal level, and landlords will be able to progress serious rent arrears cases more quickly.”

Industry groups had called for more help for landlords with problem tenants, or arrears, which were built up pre-covid.

The new notice periods for landlords seeking possession in the most serious cases are:

anti-social behaviour or more than six months’ accumulated rent arrears (now four weeks’ notice)

domestic abuse or making a false statement (now two to four weeks’ notice)

breach of Right to Rent immigration rules (now three months’ notice)

New court rules, which come into force on 20 September, mean landlords must set out in their claim any relevant information about a tenant’s case, including the impact of the pandemic on their circumstances. If this information is not provided, judges may adjourn proceedings.

Mr Jenrick added: “These changes will support landlords to progress the priority cases while keeping the public safe over winter.  We will keep these measures under review and decisions will continue to be guided by the latest public health advice.”

Read more details on the government website.

Neil Jennings

Neil is the Operations Director at Assetgrove Lettings, London's Leading Rent Guarantee Company, providing Landlords with no voids, property maintenance, fee-free property management and stress-free service.

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