All change for possession notices – again!
Landlords hoping to regain possession of a rental property will be pleased to hear that the Government has just announced a change to notice periods. With effect from 1 June, notice periods in England that are currently six months, will reduce to at least four months.
Notice periods for the most serious cases will remain lower and these are as follows:
- anti-social behaviour (immediate to 4 weeks notice)
- domestic abuse in the social sector (2 to 4 weeks notice)
- false statement (2 to 4 weeks notice)
- over 4 months accumulated rent arrears (4 weeks notice)
- breach of immigration rules Right to Rent (2 weeks notice)
- death of a tenant (2 months notice)
Looking ahead, notice periods for cases where there are four or more months of unpaid rent, will reduce to two months’ notice from 1 August. This is designed to reflect the difference between COVID and pre-COVID notice periods for rent arrears and aims to help landlords gain quicker access to the courts, although the backlog in possessions means this will still take a considerable amount of time in many cases.
The current ban on bailiff-enforced evictions, introduced as an emergency measure during lockdown, will end on 31 May and Housing Minister Chris Pincher has indicated that notice periods will return to pre-pandemic levels from 1 October. This of course, is very much dependent on the Government’s roadmap for recovery from the pandemic staying on track. All eyes will now be on the way the recent spread of the India Variant in the UK is tackled, to ensure that Covid restrictions can be lifted as hoped.
Author : Maryanne Bowring
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