From 29 August 2020, residential landlords must give at least 6 months’ notice when seeking possession under s.83 of the Housing Act 1985; s.8 and s.21 of the Housing Act 1988; and against tenants with accumulated rent arrears of less than 6 months’ rent.
s.8 and s.21 notices can be served in the usual way, subject to the following considerations:
A validly served s.21 notice served with at least 6 months’ notice will now remain valid for an extended period of:
2. The Exemptions
The following “serious cases” permit a shorter notice period:
4 weeks’ notice:
Note to tenants – this applies to the accumulated rent arrears’ sum not the time elapsed. If the outstanding rent arrears amount to the value of 6 months’ rent, the exemption will apply even if 6 months have not passed. Tenants are advised not to rely on this exemption unless there is an identifiable impact of COVID-19 on their ability to pay rent – the Court will consider this impact during any later proceedings.
2- 4 weeks’ notice
3 months’ notice
This new rule is not retrospective and notices served on and before 28 August 2020 remain unaffected, with landlords required to provide at least 3 months’ notice in such cases.
Once the Courts resume eviction hearings and the ban is lifted, the most serious cases will be prioritised.
We will continue to monitor the legislation on this matter to obtain clarity for our clients. Please do get in touch if you have any questions.