Landlords are set to be given shorter time frames to issue eviction notices as the government’s roadmap out of the COVID-19 restrictions continues.
The government introduced tighter restrictions on landlords being able to issue eviction notices last year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with a blanket ban lasting until last September. This was lifted and replaced with tight restrictions on bailiff-enforced evictions.
As the current restrictions continue to ease, however, landlords will now be able to issue notice periods that are reduced from the current level of six months down to four months. These changes will commence from the 1st 2021.
In addition, the Government confirmed plans to reduce the notice periods even further from 1st October, back to pre-pandemic levels, subject to progress made to the ongoing vaccination progress.
Notice periods and new forms
From 1st June, landlords must give tenants at least four months’ notice for repossession in most cases. This will include any Section 21 notices served and the majority of Section 8 notices. The changes will not be backdated. This means notices served up to and including 31st May will need to provide a minimum of six months’ notice.
From the beginning of June, there will also be new prescribed forms for Section 8 and 21 notices, which will become available on the government’s website. Landlords must use the most up-to-date version for the day the notice counts as served to the tenant.
As most notices usually count as served a couple of working days after being posted, landlords should avoid serving notices in the days leading up to 1st June.
The government has also announced restrictions will end for bailiff-enforced evictions next month. From 1st June, bailiffs will recommence operation. The only circumstance in which a bailiff cannot carry out an eviction is in the event of a tenant self-isolating from showing COVID symptoms.
After restarting, there will be a significant backlog of eviction cases. Courts will prioritise the most serious cases, including those involving anti-social behaviour and fraud.
In an ideal scenario, landlords should not have to worry about approaching the stage of eviction in the first place. Open and transparent communication with tenants who have been meticulously referenced allows for landlords to place tenants in their property who will avoid rent arrears, and prevent any damage being caused to your property; in addition to prompt rental payments and efficient communication relating to any maintenance issues.
For more information on how Meller Braggins can assist you with this, give our property management team a call on 0161 820 6638.