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Amendments to bring in longer eviction notice periods laid before Parliament

Changes to government's Covid legislation give several concessions to agents and landlords looking to evict tenants, but still require a six-month notice period until March next year.

Nigel Lewis

Link to ROPA news

The government has laid the amendments before Parliament today that will make its proposed six-month eviction notice periods law.

This means the new, longer notice periods will run from tomorrow 29th August until 31st March.

There are several concession to agents and landlords, though. This includes shorter notice periods when giving notice in relation to:

  • Anti-social behaviour- four weeks’ notice.
  • Domestic violence – two weeks’ notice.
  • Rent arrears over six months – four weeks.
  • Obtaining a tenancy through fraud – two weeks’ notice.
  • Immigration status cases – three months; notice.

Also, the window within which a Section 21 notice can be used is being increased from six months to ten months.

This is because NRLA and ARLA Propertymark had complained that the notice period would end on the same day the eviction notice itself expired.

Landlords and agents now have an additional four months to get a court possession hearing date.

Retrospective?

ARLA also says the legislation is not retrospective: “Section 21 notices served prior to tomorrow (Saturday 29th) should retain a three month notice period, however any notices issued from tomorrow onwards must be served on the basis of a six month notice period,” it says.

Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association, says: “Today’s announcement provides welcome clarity about how possession cases will be handled.

“But it will mean nothing without a complete guarantee that the courts will hear cases from 20th September.”

Isobel Thomson, Safeagent Chief Executive, says: “We welcome government clarity on notice periods, applying common sense to the fact there are circumstances where there needs to be an expedited procedure for landlords to gain repossession of their properties.”

 

August 28, 2020

One comment

  1. Thankfully my tenants left on July 4th 2020. But due to the Governments hate relationship with landlords the property is going on the market to be sold.

    Not prepared to face the risk of a bad tenant who defaults on payments, may be a nuisance for some other reason: Anti-social behaviour, Domestic violence, Rent arrears, Obtaining a tenancy through fraud or an Immigration status case. And suffering the added cost of legal action to remove them along with the stress.

    I suspect many landlords with 1 or 2 properties will exit the market. Especially as their capital will, if invested in stocks and shares, do very well as the stock market improves as we emerge from the pandemic.

    Short sighted strategy of the Government interfering. I don’t know of any other asset that is loaned under a fixed term contract where the contract can be ignored. Rent a car for a fixed term, fail to return it and you’ll be in Court before you can say boo!

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