BPE Solicitors update on the changes to Residential Possession

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Natalie Ball, Solicitor in the Litigation team at BPE Solicitors, analyses the effect of the updates to the Coronavirus Act 2020 which mean notice periods for tenancies are reverting to pre-pandemic requirements.

Throughout the Pandemic we have been keeping you updated with the ever-changing rules and regulations relating to regaining possession of residential property, including multiple amendments to the notice periods which must be given under the relevant notices.

Despite Covid-19 still not yet being a thing of the past, normality is beginning to resume and we have now seen the introduction of The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment) and Suspension (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 (“the Regulations”) which came into force on the 1 June 2021.

The Regulations suspend paragraphs 5 – 10(1) of Schedule 29 to the Coronavirus Act 2020 (“CVA 2020”) so that, from 1 October 2021, notice periods have reverted to the pre-pandemic levels as follows:

  1. The minimum notice period to be given in a notice under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 reverted to two months; and
  2. The notice period that must be given in a notice under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988, for the majority of the grounds which can be relied upon, is just two weeks.

This will no doubt be welcome news for many Landlords, particularly those who have been left with little option but to allow their Tenant to rack up exorbitant rent arrears whilst waiting out the previously extended notice periods (which at one point were 6 months) prior to commencing possession proceedings. However, on the flip side, many Tenants will still be struggling to try to get finances back on track following the pandemic and the reducing notice periods will come as unwelcome news at an already difficult time.

Given that the Regulations only suspend (as opposed abolish) certain sections of the CVA 2020, there is a possibility that notice periods could be extended again between now and March 2022 should the Covid-19 situation worsen or lockdown measures be re-introduced. However, at present, we are not aware of any imminent plans to do so.

The previous notice periods will also still apply for notices which were served before 1 October 2021 and Landlords should take care to ensure that the correct forms are used to avoid any additional delays should they wish to terminate a lease.

Natalie Ball 02-20

 

If you are looking to serve a section 8 or section 21 notice or need additional advice on the above issues or any other property related disputes, please contact Natalie Ball in the Litigation team on 01242 248223 or email Natalie.ball@bpe.co.uk

 

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