On the 28th August 2020 the UK Government announced a regulatory change to the rights of tenants in rented properties, affording them a new minimum of six months notice to vacate under Section 21 (known as a ‘no fault’ eviction, where the Landlord does not need to give a reason for wanting possession of their property). This is a substantial increase on the standard two months that has been allowed historically, and is an extension of the temporary measure put in place to protect renters during the Coronavirus pandemic.
From 27 March 2020, eviction hearings were banned in courts in England and Wales. The ban initially ran until 25 June. It was subsequently extended until 23 August and has now been extended again until 20 September.
This new legislation will remain in situ until March 2021.
Are there any exceptions?
It is not all bad news for Landlords, as the government has introduced some caveats to seek possession in the most serious cases:
- 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)
However, this will provide little comfort to Landlords where rent arrears are impacting their ability to service their loan commitments and payment holidays have now ceased.
What should I do if I am a Landlord?
If you are a Landlord experiencing troublesome tenants and you are unsure whether you have grounds to seek possession under the new rules, it would be advisable to seek professional legal advice.
Our Commercial Law department can look at the evidence you have to support your application, advise on the prospect of success, and take the necessary steps on your behalf to seek possession.